Exodus 23:2a “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.”
We are now immersed in the middle of the laws God gives to the Hebrew people. They are a set of guidelines on how to live one’s life in a practical sense of cause and effect. However, they are also principles of how to demonstrate one’s love for God and one’s neighbor. (The sign of the cross.) One particular law that popped out at me while reading this passage is stated above. We are not to follow the crowd in doing wrong.
Have you ever wanted to be a part of the in-crowd? In school they were the ones that most people thought were cool and hip. They were usually the “smartest” and “best-looking” or “most popular.” However, the in-crowd were usually the ones who caused the most trouble in school and would blame others for their wrong doing to avoid punishment for fear of being punished and subsequently kicked off the team.
The peer pressure of the in-crowd doesn’t stop with high school unfortunately. It seems to continue right through the rest of life. People are constantly trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” but they never quite seem to match up in status. The “wannabes” will do all they can to get noticed or be popular in the eyes of other people including going along with the crowd even if it means doing the wrong thing like lying or stealing just to be “cool.”
The truth of the matter is that hanging with the in-crowd does nothing for a person but identify them as being part of the wrong crowd. Jesus was never part of the in-crowd. In fact He lived His life on the outside looking in and weeping for those that thought they were somebody just because they hung with the gang, which was nothing more than the wrong crowd. In fact, the wrong crowd were the ones who demanded that Jesus be crucified by Pilate.
The bottom line is just because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t make it right. When the crowd is doing wrong, avoid it like the plague. Run from it. Turn away. Go another direction. Hanging with the wrong crowd will only lead to sin and more trouble. Dare to be different and stand up for doing right in God’s eyes.
Father, I thank You that I was never completely caught up in the whole being a part of the crowd mentality. Sure, You know that I was in that scene for some time, but it never really was my thing. And more often than not, I avoided following the crowd especially when it looked to cause trouble and do the wrong thing. Now that I am older and somewhat wiser, I have learned that being different, daring to be different, and not following the crowd has its benefits even more so when done from the perspective of doing so out of love for You and my fellow neighbor. Thank You for setting me straight so long ago. In Jesus’ name, Amen.