ON CHRIS­TIAN­ITY

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at bil­ly­gra­ham.org

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: How can you help some­one who doesn’t want your help? A friend from my high school days re­con­nected with me re­cently, and I be­came very con­cerned about some of the things he’s do­ing that aren’t only wrong but could re­ally hurt him. But when I said some­thing, he told me in no un­cer­tain terms to mind my own busi­ness. Is there any­thing I can do?

— S.R. DEAR S.R.: I’m thank­ful you are con­cerned for your friend, even if he ap­par­ently re­fuses to lis­ten to you. Un­for­tu­nately we can’t al­ways help some­one who needs our help; some peo­ple sim­ply won’t change. Re­mem­ber: not every­one wel­comed Je­sus; the Bi­ble says, “He was de­spised and re­jected by mankind” (Isa­iah 53:3).

Why do some peo­ple refuse to change, even when it’s in their best in­ter­est? Some­times it’s be­cause of pride; they won’t ad­mit they’ve made a wrong de­ci­sion or are on the wrong road. Some­times it’s be­cause of a fear of fail­ure; they know they’re weak and won’t even try to change.

But some­times it’s be­cause they don’t want to change or give up what­ever they’re do­ing — even if it’s go­ing to de­stroy them. Their sin has wrapped its deadly coils around them, and they refuse to turn away from it. Like the peo­ple of Jeremiah’s day, “they did not lis­ten or pay at­ten­tion; in­stead, they fol­lowed the stub­born in­cli­na­tions of their evil hearts” (Jeremiah 7:24).

What can you do? First, pray for your friend. Pray that he’ll not only face what he’s do­ing, but that he’ll turn to Christ for the for­give­ness and new life he needs. In ad­di­tion, seek to be his friend; some day he may be more open to you than he is right now. Fi­nally, ask God to help you be an ex­am­ple to him of Christ’s love and trans­form­ing power.

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