DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I saw a survey the other day claiming that some of the most prosperous countries in the world are also the least religious. Do you think that’s true? Why is it? — J.U.
DEAR J.U.: I don’t know how accurate a survey like this is; I certainly can think of some exceptions, including the United States. Although secularism and materialism have made serious inroads into our society, the majority of Americans still believe in God and regularly attend a place of worship.
It’s true, however, that material prosperity often leads to spiritual poverty, and that is tragic. When this happens, we become so absorbed in the pleasures and pursuits of this life that we forget we were made for God and for eternity. Not only that, but we lose sight of where we came from, why we’re here, and where we’re going when we die.
We wrongly conclude (if we even stop to think about it) that life has no meaning or purpose, and we end up in despair and hopelessness. Before he turned to God, the writer of Ecclesiastes declared, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
But God didn’t intend for life to be this way, and it won’t be if we open our hearts and minds to Christ. When we turn to him, we discover God loves us and put us here for a purpose: to live for him, and not just for ourselves. Have you committed your life to Christ?
Be thankful for the good things God gives us, but don’t let them poison your soul. Instead, make Christ the foundation and center of your life. Never forget his warning: “You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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