March 28

Written by Bill Grandi on March 28th, 2022

When I was in my teen years I was different. I had been raised to treat people with respect. To answer with “Yes mam” and “No sir.” Growing up in PA near Pittsburgh in the 50s and 60s the use of the “N” word was very common. But not to my mom. No sirree! I was taught not to use that word or to make fun of others, especially those who were handicapped.

I chose not to smoke, drink or chew for several reasons. I played sports. I was scared of my dad. And more importantly, my faith was important to me and I didn’t feel that represented Jesus in a good light. When the riots took place in the late 60s and black and white kids who used to be friends were duking it out, I chose to withdraw and not take part. I found there were others who were like-minded (Jeff Goldblum was one of them).

Peer pressure was there but was not a defining thing for me. Harder for me was when I “came out of the closet” spiritually and chose to leave my legalism behind. God had been working on me for awhile, but I resisted. It was when I found myself surrounded with a legalistic bunch that I finally gave up and surrendered my pride and my “legacy” to God. I went through some semblance of burnout as I struggled with leaving the comfortable and stepping into the unknown. It wasn’t over then. A new church said, “You’re done here” (I’m putting it nicely) after 3 years. The reason I was given was “I didn’t preach on water baptism and other mainstays of the Christian Church/Church of Christ enough.”

Strange. I was able to resist peer pressure but it took me longer to yield to the Spirit’s pressure because of the unknown than it ever did to peer pressure.  Pastoral peer pressure existed in a big way. I’m glad I finally said, “Goodbye” to that and submitted to the Spirit’s pressure.

At that moment (whenever it was), I went from Pharisee to tax collector. One of the best moments of my life.

My prayer is that I will continue submitting to the Spirit’s pressure and not worry about peer pressure and what others will think. That pressure to be liked is a far greater one that any peer pressure. But following the Spirit is so much more satisfying…even if it isn’t always popular.


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I think your prayer is important for every Christ follower… We are told that we will be hated by those who don’t follow Christ. Like during the time Jesus walked the earth, the culture of the time was dominated by Roman thought. The Jewish people were thought of as low class and were not respected. Ironically, Jesus was even hated by some of His own.

    We live in a culture today that is increasingly less tolerant of God’s standards. It is not enough that we can agree to disagree anymore. In many circles, we are asked to participate in the lies that continue to perpetuate society.

    I am trying to find a balance in my life where I can interact with society, but not be drawn into the lies, confusion, and complete disregard of truth.

    I am thankful that we still live in a country where we have the freedom to speak truth. I am aware that the freedom to speak truth however, does not exclude me from the consequences of speaking that truth in some cases.

    One last thing before I step off the soapbox… I must remember to also share God’s Love. Truth will land on deaf ears if not bound together with love.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      What a great and true comment Ryan. I, especially like that last sentence. If we share the truth but have no love I believe I Cor 13 tells us we are a clanging cymbal.

  2. All of us, at some point in our lives, have to realize that being popular with God far outweighs the approval of men.
    Blessings, Bill, and thanks for the great sermon yesterday!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Agree Martha. That approval of men is a killer. And thanks for the compliment. It means a lot from an outsider to comment.