Peer Pressure

By Michael English


Summary: All of us are under pressure to conform to those around us. The pressure is on to talk like everyone else, to look like everyone else and to do what everyone else does, even when this is clearly wrong. The idea behind this sketch is that we do not need to make excuses for our behaviour, but that the power of God is there to help us do what is right. The sketch was originally performed as a children's talk in a family service.

Bible Reference: Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 5: 1-11

Characters: Michael, Simon, John - all wear trainers.

Props: Cards with "I Hate Fishing" and "Fishing is Boring" and "Help" (x2) - it must be possible to read these from the back of the venue.

Setting: A church service.


(John, Michael and Simon on stage)

Michael: Have you ever found yourself doing something because everybody else does it. Your friends do it. Your relatives do it. So you do it, even though you you don't want to, even though you may know that its wrong. Perhaps you want to wear the same type of clothes as your friends so you don't feel left out. Grown ups call that "Fashion".

Many of these things won't be right or wrong. God doesn't mind what clothes you wear. What he is interested in is the overall effect on you, whether it makes you a better person or a worse person, more like Jesus or less like Jesus.

We're going to do a little example now. I'm going to play the part of someone who tries to pressure on two of my friends to do the things I do. I want you to see who behaves in the right way and who behaves in the wrong way.

Hi, Simon.

Simon: Hello.

Michael: I see you've still got those old Daedalus trainers. Only fat people wear them. Why don't you get some really cool Asahel trainers, like I've got, then your football won't be so sad.

Simon: My trainers are fine. Anyway my mum can't afford those Asahel things. They cost 120 a pair and look at yours, they fall to bits in three weeks.

Michael: What about you John? Everybody else has got these Asahel trainers. They glow in the dark.

John: Wow that's cool. I must get a pair. I know my parents can't afford it. Still, we can always cut down on food.

Michael: Come on then you two. Lets go fishing down at the Cam on Sunday. Its so popular now, everybody else goes. We caught a shark last week. It was like something out of Jaws.

(Simon and John hold up cards which say. "I hate fishing" and " Fishing is boring".)

John: Wow great. If everybody else is there I'll come, even though I'd far rather go to church.

Simon: I'd far rather go to church its much more exciting. Steve Hill is preaching this week and he always has a message from God to bring us. Surely what God has to say is more important than fishing?

Michael: I've got a great idea, lets go to the shop and get some sweets.

Simon: Good idea, but I haven't any money.

John: Neither have I.

Michael: No problem. You keep the guy on the counter talking and I'll take some.

John: But that would be stealing.

Michael: No it's only shop lifting and Dillon's can afford it.

John: OK then.

Simon: It's still stealing and it doesn't matter whether they can afford it or not. I'm having no part of it.

(Pause)

Michael: There we see how I put pressure on Simon and John so they would copy me in doing wrong. Three times I tempted them. In each case Simon resisted, but in each case John gave in to the pressure. Three times Simon did right. Three times John did wrong.

So what do we do when we're put under pressure. And this applies whether we're young or old or in between. Its actually very hard not to be drawn along to follow others in doing wrong. Its very easy to compromise or make excuses to ourselves.

One thing we can do to make it easier to do right is to pray a prayer that many people use regularly when they get put under pressure. Its a very simple prayer, very easy to remember and very quick to say when people put you under pressure to do wrong . Its...

(John and Simon hold up cards which say "HELP")

Its simply the word help. We're going to pray that now. First I want you to think of a situation that you find difficult. Where people may be putting you under pressure to do wrong. Then I'm going to count to three and then we shout Nehemiah's prayer to God together.

OK. Think of your situation. (Pause). One, two, three... HELP


Notes:

In Greek mythology, Daedalus designed the Cretan Labyrinth and invented "wings", which he used to escape from a tower where he had been imprisoned. His son, Icarus, was killed when he flew too close to the sun and the heat melted the wax which held his wings together.

Asahel is mentioned in the Bible in 2 Samuel 2: 18-32


This script is Copyright 1998 Michael English, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.


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