DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: God must be very disappointed in me. I really believe in Jesus and want to do what’s right, but when I get around other people, I start acting just like they do instead of the way Jesus wants me to. Why am I such a weak person? — M.C.
DEAR M.C.: I’m thankful that you’re concerned about this problem and wish to live the way God wants you to live. The Bible is clear: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you give in to the pressure to behave like everyone else? One reason, I suspect, is because you don’t want them to reject you, and you’re afraid they might do this if you refuse to go along with them. This isn’t unusual; we all want to be liked. But when the crowd is going the wrong way, we need to face our inner yearning to be accepted and be willing to risk scorn or rejection for Jesus’ sake. Face this honestly, and then ask God to help you yearn for his approval, not that of the crowd.
After all, Jesus endured scorn and rejection, and it sent him to the cross. But he did this because he loves us, and once we realize this, our lives will never be the same. The Bible urges us to focus constantly on Jesus: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame” (Hebrews 12:2).
Seek out a church where you’ll not only hear God’s word, but also meet new friends who can help you spiritually. The Bible says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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