Q: Are human beings basically good or basically bad? Some of us had a bull session about this in our dorm the other night, and now I’m not sure what I believe about this. What is your opinion? — N.R.
A: I can understand why you ended up confused; everyone in your dorm room probably had a different opinion!
But how will you know who is right, not just about this question, but any other question about us or God? You see, it isn’t your opinion or my opinion that counts, but what God’s opinion is. Otherwise we’ll find ourselves wandering in the dark and only guessing about the truth. But God made us, and he knows all about us, and only he can tell us what we need to know.
The Bible says two important truths about your question. First, it tells us that we were made in the image of God — that is, God put within us something of himself (what we usually call our soul or spirit). That makes us unique and gives us the ability to know what’s right and good.
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But the Bible also tells us that we have rebelled against God, and like a deadly spiritual cancer, we have lost the ability to live up to God’s standard. Instead, our souls are sick, and we want to do what’s wrong in God’s eyes. As the Bible says, “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12).
This is why we need Christ. Only he can forgive us and change us and help us become the people God wants us to be. If you have never done so, turn your life over to Jesus Christ today. Then pray for those around you, that they too may sense their need for Christ and give their lives to him.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.