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).