Q: I just can’t resist temptation. I claim to be a Christian (and I am), but I get around my old buddies, and before I know it I’m doing things I know are wrong. I’ve asked God to help me, but it hasn’t done any good. Am I always going to be like this? — Z.L.
A: No, you’re not always going to be like this, not if you truly seek God’s help and follow his path for dealing with temptation. Remember: God loves you, and he doesn’t want you to ruin your life or bring disgrace to the name of Christ by your behavior.
How should you deal with temptation? First, avoid situations where you know you’ll be tempted to do wrong. Think about them in advance, and then stay away. In your case this may mean leaving your old friends behind and asking God to give you new friends who will encourage you to do what’s right. People who persuade you to do things that are wrong aren’t really your friends; they may even want to turn you away from God. The Bible says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
In addition, strengthen your commitment to grow closer to Christ. If you haven’t already done so, seek out a church where Christ is preached and followed. In addition, begin each day with prayer, asking God to guide you and keep you close to himself.
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Take time also to read the Bible every day, even if it’s just a few paragraphs at first. Through it we not only learn about God and his love for us, but we discover how he wants us to live. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9)
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.