“… but everyone else … is doing it/has one/gets to …”
And the traditional response is … “If ____ jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”
I thought about the influence of the crowd recently when studying Acts 3 and 4. The apostles Peter and John had healed a man who was unable to walk, announcing that they were healing him in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (3:6). Wow, did that rile up the religious leaders! The two apostles were seized and put in jail for the night.
When the religious council met the following day, they found themselves in quite the predicament. Peter and John had done nothing illegal, but the group of rulers, elders, and teachers of the law could not bear to hear anyone proclaiming the name of Jesus. The leaders threatened the apostles to not speak any more of Jesus and then, shockingly, released them! A key influence in their decision is revealed. “They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened” (Acts 4:21b).
But wait a minute! Aren’t these the same residents of Jerusalem who just a short time prior had been persuaded by these religious leaders? Pilate had appealed to the crowd and tried to release Jesus, knowing He had been falsely accused. That time the outcome was different. “But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed” (Luke 23:23).
The voice of crowds, reporters, and social media echo in our head, demanding the action we must take, who we should support, and what we should believe. May we stop, do our diligent part in finding out the facts, and prayerfully seek discernment from the Lord.
Then we can cast educated votes! (Check your state for voter registration deadlines. Here in Arizona, the deadline is October 5th.)