If you don’t live in an area where there is a choice of fabulous coffee establishments, you may not understand my dilemma. Do I go for down-home and delicious or upscale, aristocratic, and scrumptious? Can you guess which is which?
It seems kind of silly, really, that I even care where I buy my over-priced caffeinated beverage of choice. But a dilemma it still is some days. Taste preference among friends has often made a difference when deciding where to meet someone for an afternoon meeting or a late-night chat. What my friends prefer often affects my decision-making.
But there are some decisions in life where I need to know what I think for myself, without the influence of my friends deciding for me.
I remember feeling so pressured sometimes in my younger years to do things because everyone else was doing it. Some things were straight up wrong, and some seemed innocuous, but I felt the pressure that if I didn’t participate, I somehow couldn’t be cool enough or able to hold my head up in a crowd. I had strong convictions and a great family that supported and cared about me, which helped me to stand firm in my decisions not to do what everyone else was doing. But I still felt left out sometimes, and I felt the sting of rejection more than once. And it wasn’t always easy to do what I felt was the right thing to do.
I discovered a Bible verse that has helped me stand firm on multiple occasions through the years. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.
A promise like that is a keeper.
So what kinds of things have you felt like you needed to compromise in order to stay in favor with the right people? Have you ever been asked to lie for a co-worker? Have you ever felt uncomfortable because of inappropriate antics when you’re with friends? What about feeling pressure from someone to do something you absolutely feel is wrong, but you don’t want to lose out or look bad in their eyes?
In every situation, every day, we get to choose how we will respond. There is a way out in every situation. Ask God to help you when you feel trapped and are tempted to just give in because it seems so much easier that way. He will help you; I promise. It’s always right to do the right thing. It’s always worth it to maintain your integrity and standards, even if it doesn’t feel like it for a time.
You may lose a friend or two along the way by choosing to follow your scruples, but it’s usually worth the price in the end. And you will gain respect for yourself and probably from many others as you choose what is right. It’s always worth it in the long run.
Tonight, I chose Caribou. I made this decision just for me (and for Pomegranate Oolong tea). Nobody else was affected by my decision this time, and I was completely satisfied with my resolution.