DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I want to be a good Christian, and I really do believe in Jesus. But when I get around some of my buddies, I start acting like they do instead of the way Jesus wants me to. Why am I so weak? — Z.C.
DEAR Z.C.: I’m thankful you at least realize you aren’t behaving the way Jesus wants you to when you’re around these friends. Some believers, I’m afraid, aren’t even aware that they’re following the crowd instead of Christ.
We all like to be liked, and that’s one reason it’s hard for us to do something our friends might not like. In other words, you want your friends to accept you and like you, and down inside you’re afraid you’ll lose their friendship if you don’t act the way they do. If you refused to do some of the things they do, you’re afraid they might think you’re rejecting them, and they in turn might reject you.
Ask God to help you begin to see your friends the way he sees them: as sinners who need to know that God loves them and that Christ died so they could be with him in heaven forever. Pray for them regularly, that God will touch their hearts and convince them of their need of Jesus. The greatest gift we can ever offer anyone is the gift of eternal life in Christ.
Then pray for yourself, that God will use you to point your friends to Christ, both by what you say and the way you live. They may never have another friend who knows Christ, and that’s a powerful reason for you to grow closer to Jesus and live for him every day. The Bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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