“Hiding your behavior from people you care about is one of the first stages and warning signs.”
Even though I’m not of legal age yet, I drink sometimes when I get together with certain friends because I want to fit in. it’s not like I get drunk a lot or anything, so I don’t feel like it’s a big deal. But I have one friend who has a problem with it, so I find myself not even wanting to tell him if I’ve been to a party just so I don’t have to deal with his disapproval.
You’re not only avoiding your friend, you’re avoiding a real problem, and it’s not necessarily just with alcohol. Hiding your behavior from people you care about is an indication that your choice isn’t a good one. Think about your friend’s reasons for expressing his concern. Chances are it’s because he truly cares for you and wants what’s best for you; not because he wants to push his own agenda on you. Your reasons for hiding your behavior from this friend is because of fear – you fear his disapproval.
“Your fear is causing you to make some poor choices, and fear has brought many others before you to the same place.”
We see the results of drinking alcohol in our schools, families, prisons and shelters, yet generations continue to indulge. It appears your reason for drinking with some of your friends is the same as your reason for hiding it from others…fear. I think you fear loss of relationship and fear not fitting in. Your fear is causing you to make some poor choices, and fear has brought many others before you to the same place.
Fear…it’s probably not what you expected to hear in response to your question. That’s the real problem here. You’re afraid of how other people will perceive you. You’ve allowed your fear to motivate you into breaking the law and lying to your friend. Chances are that fear has also caused you to make other poor choices. So, what’s the right response to fear? Courage. I believe you can and should stand up for what you know is right. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to face your fear for a greater cause. Be willing to stand up for something you know is right, even when risking acceptance, popularity, or position. That’s courage.
“So, what’s the right response to fear? Courage.”
Every action you take is a result of a choice you make. To identify the most loving action in every situation, ask yourself these questions for each choice:
1. Is it best for others? (Family, friends, peers, classmates, teams, etc.)
2. Is it best for me? (Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.)
3. Is it best for society? (Future generations, distant cultures, environment, community, and world.
Keep in mind the definition of “best” when answering these questions. Best means the most excellent or most beneficial. Best does not mean the least work or the most pleasure. If you can honestly answer “Yes” to all three questions, it is the loving and best choice.
“When faced with difficult choices, or if you’re struggling with certain behaviors, it’s important to talk with someone about them.”
When faced with difficult choices, or if you’re struggling with certain behaviors, it’s important to talk with someone about them. Share your struggles with a youth pastor, school counselor, or parent. They can help you and help build your courage to stand up for what’s right.