From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I struggle with peer pressure and often make decisions and do things that I know are not the best, but I succumb to influences by others, I suppose, to be liked and accepted. Is this temptation?

— P.I.

Dear P.I.: An important lesson can be learned by experimenting with magnets. Children often do this, placing two magnets a distance apart and then moving just one toward the other. One magnet will draw the other closer until they adhere, making it difficult to pull them apart.

Temptation is something like that, and it often begins with giving into peer pressure. The more we dwell on what we are being tempted to do, the more likely it is that we will succumb. Giving into temptation brings about sin. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

This is what God promises. Now what is our responsibility? We must not toy with such things in our minds. The Bible says to flee — get as far away from it as possible.

Joseph is an example. When he was tempted by his master’s wife, he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). This is the key. Joseph recognized the temptation and fled. When we sin we not only hurt ourselves and others, but most importantly we sin against God. But what gave Joseph the strength to flee? The Bible says, “The Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:3). If we are praying not to enter into temptation (Luke 22:40), the Lord will enable us to recognize it and flee.