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.