Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peer Pressure in a Bottle

Balloon in a Bottle

This is an object lesson on peer pressure. You'll need a balloon, black
Sharpie marker, and an empty water bottle.

Beforehand, blow up the balloon and draw a face on it with a Sharpie marker.
After the ink dries, deflate the balloon. Now, insert the balloon into the
empty water bottle and pull the opening of the balloon over the mouth of the
bottle. The balloon should be hanging inside the bottle.

Choose someone to help you with the demonstration--someone who claims they
can blow up a balloon. Give them the bottle and tell them to blow hard into
the balloon so that it will inflate. No matter how hard they blow, the
balloon will not inflate inside the bottle. This gives us a picture of what
it's like to be influenced by negative peer pressure. Peers are the people
around us ... friends and family. And, pressure is when we feel forced to be
and act a certain way. Let's say the balloon represents a person and the
bottle is peer pressure. No matter how hard he tries, when he allows himself
to be surrounded by negative peer pressure--people trying to influence him
to act in a certain way--he's not able to grow into the person God intended.
It stifles him. It chokes him. It keeps him from growing spiritually.

Now, remove the balloon from the bottle and let your assistant blow it up.
The face on the balloon will appear. When this person freed himself from
peer pressure, when he decided it wasn't important to please others who
wanted to force him to live and believe a certain way--he was free to grow
and thrive and become what God intended.

Go to Romans 12:2 and see what God's Word has to say about peer
pressure. "Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the
way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and
pleasing to him" (CEV).

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