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Public Pressure

 Lloyd J. Ogilve, in his book Life Without Limits, tells the story of a preacher who in the space of one week heard the following comments from various people:

*A woman said, "I'm under tremendous pressure from my son these days. I can't seem to satisfy him, however hard I work. He really puts me under pressure."

*A young man said, "My parents have fantastic goals for me to take over the family business. It's not what I want to do, but their pressure is unbearable."

*A college woman said, "I'm being pressured by my boyfriend to live with him before we are married. You know ... sort of try it out ... to see if we are right for each other."

*A husband said, "My wife is never satisfied. Whatever I do, however much I make, it's never enough. Life with her is like living in a pressure cooker with the lid fastened down and the heat on high."

*A secretary said, pointing to her phone, "That little black thing is driving me silly. At the other end of the line are people who make impossible demands and think they are the only people alive."

*A middle-aged wife said, "My husband thinks my faith is silly. When I feel his resistance to Christ, I wonder if I'm wrong and confused. As a result, I've developed two lives; one with him and one when I'm with my Christian friends."

*A young preacher said, "I hardly know who I am any more. There are so many points of view in my congregation, I can't please them all. Everyone wants to capture me for his camp and get me to shape the church around his convictions. The pressure makes me want to leave the ministry."

All of these persons have one thing in common. They are being pressured by other people. We all, at one time or another, experience people-pressure. The question is how will it effect our judgment? That is the question Herod faced. You remember that Herod took his brother Philip's wife, Herodias, to live with him (Mark 6: 17-20). Her daughter, supposedly named Salome, performed a dance that pleased Herod so much that he promised that she could have up to half of his kingdom. She consulted with her mother and returned asking the head of John the Baptizer's head on a charger (Mark 6:21-25).

Herod had respected John even though they had a disagreement because of Herod's marriage to Herodias. He could and should have done the right thing. He should have told the daughter that he would not honor that request. He didn't (Mark 6:26-28). He feared the pressure and would not do the right thing.

How many times do we feel the pressure from family, friends, co-workers and know that we shouldn't give in-yet we give into pressure.

We have to ever keep before us whom we serve-Jehovah God. We would do well to remember the words of Jesus when answering Satan, "...Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Mt. 4: 10). "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13). Wilkin Tom O'Neal.

*  If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut (cf Jas. 1: 19).  Albert Einstein

*  "We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."Albert Einstein

*  Gentleness helps us make a point without making an enemy.

 * In the cafeteria on the first day of spring semester, I saw three students hard at work on their calculators. Surprised that they had received such an obviously tough problem so early in the semester, I asked them what their assignment was. One replied, "We're figuring out how many days until spring break."

Glad Tidings of Good Things
Vol. 8/July 17, 2003
Page 1