BILLY GRAHAM

Christ can change us completely, from within

Updated: 2013-07-31T22:36:17Z

By BILLY GRAHAM

Tribune Media Services

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Do you think people’s lives can be changed if they believe in God? As a psychologist, I know people can change in small ways if they try hard enough. But we all have different personalities, and I don’t think our basic personality ever really changes. — C.G.

DEAR C.G.: One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that when we come to Jesus Christ and commit our lives to him, God himself comes to live within us by his Holy Spirit. And one reason he does this is so he can begin changing us from within — not by our efforts, but by his power.

What difference will Christ make? For some people, the changes may be slow and almost imperceptible — at least at first. Others, however, may experience dramatic changes in their lives, as they turn to God and ask him to help them overcome an addiction, take away their anger, or help them forgive someone who’s hurt them. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Whatever our personality, our lives will never be the same once we come to know Christ. I often think, for example, of the Apostle Paul in the Bible. He zealously persecuted Christians, believing them to be enemies of God. But when he met Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul’s life was dramatically changed, and all his energy was redirected to a new cause — the cause of Christ.

No matter who we are, God welcomes us just as we are, with all of our sins and shortcomings and personal quirks. But when we repent of our sins and open our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ, he begins changing us so we become more and more like him. Why not let this happen in your life?

© Tribune Media Services 8/1

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