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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2005


“I Dare You”

by  Matthew Vanhorn

Try “it. It will be cool.” “It can’t hurt you just this once.” “I dare you!” These phrases are probably very familiar to you. There are always kids who dare others to do things that they shouldn’t be doing. A dare is a temptation. When the people around you try to make you do things that are not right, it is called “peer pressure.” Being tempted is not a sin, but if we handle temptation wrongly, we can be caused to sin.

We can do three things to fight temptation. First, we can stay away from places where we know that bad things happen. For example, if there is a place at school where you know that kids are bullied, you should stay away from that place if possible. You cannot avoid every temptation, but you are not being “chicken” by avoiding them. David said in Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.”

Second, when pressured to do something wrong, you can “just say ‘no’.” Sometimes kids will make fun of you for standing up for what is right, but you’ll be glad that you did. When you stand up for what is right, you will gain respect. Even if others don’t respect you for doing right, you will have respect for yourself, and that is extremely important. When tempted to do something that you shouldn’t, you will gain respect if you say “no.” Then, tell why you do not wish to try it. Peter said: “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

We also have a third defense against temptation. When confronted with something that is bad, change it to something good. For example, if someone offers you an alcoholic drink, a good way to change it into something good would be to say: “No, thanks. Why don’t we just grab a Coke® instead?”  That takes a negative offer and exchanges it with a positive one. We can always get through temptations when we know what the Bible says about sin. When confronted with difficult situations, we can always ask ourselves: “What would Jesus do?”



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