DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: God must be very upset with me, because I keep trying to be a good Christian, but I keep falling short. What’s wrong with me? I thought Christians weren’t supposed to sin. — P.D.
DEAR P.D.: You’re partly right. God doesn’t want us to sin, because when we do, we’re rebelling and turning our backs on him. God also knows the hurt and the damage we cause ourselves when we sin, and he doesn’t want this to happen, because he loves us.
When you gave your life to Christ, God himself came to live within you by his Holy Spirit. However, your old sinful nature still lives within you, and because of this you’ll struggle with sin the rest of your life. Only when we’re in heaven will our battle with sin be over. Even the Apostle Paul — the greatest Christian who ever lived — found that sin still tried to control him. He wrote, “For I do not do the good I want to do … it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:19-20).
But listen: One reason God came to live within you is to help you overcome sin. You’re not in this battle alone. First, he’ll give you a new desire to do what’s right. In addition, as you draw closer to him, he’ll show you ways to avoid temptation.
When temptations come, turn immediately to Jesus. Answer temptation with prayer and with the promises of God’s word, the Bible. Remember, the closer you are to Christ, the farther you are from Satan and his temptations. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful.… when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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