ON CHRIS­TIAN­ITY

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - bil­ly­gra­ham.org BILLY GRA­HAM

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: I’ve gone through life mak­ing bad de­ci­sions about al­most ev­ery­thing — mar­riage, money, health, jobs, you name it. I al­ways hoped my chil­dren would wise up and learn from my mis­takes, but it isn’t hap­pen­ing. Why haven’t they learned from my bad ex­am­ple?

— C.McL. DEAR C. McL.: It’s not just your chil­dren who have failed to learn from the mis­takes of oth­ers. Trag­i­cally, the whole hu­man race has done the same thing, gen­er­a­tion af­ter gen­er­a­tion. Yes, oc­ca­sion­ally we learn from the past, but we soon for­get. The Bi­ble says, “What has been done will be done again. … No one re­mem­bers the for­mer gen­er­a­tions” (Ec­cle­si­astes 1:9, 11).

Why is this? One prob­lem is that we al­ways think we will be the ex­cep­tion, that what­ever hap­pened to some­one else who did wrong won’t hap­pen to us. In other words, we think it won’t make any dif­fer­ence if we do some­thing wrong or un­wise. But it sim­ply isn’t true. Bad de­ci­sions al­ways re­sult in bad con­se­quences (as you’ve dis­cov­ered in your life). The Bi­ble warns, “A man reaps what he sows. Who­ever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap de­struc­tion” (Gala­tians 6:7-8).

Al­though you can­not change the past, you can change the fu­ture. The first step is to turn to Je­sus Christ and put your life into His hands. God loves you, and He wants to for­give your sins and give you wis­dom for the fu­ture. Ask Christ to come into your life to­day and He will.

Then pray for your fam­ily, ask­ing God to give you an op­por­tu­nity to talk with them, not lec­tur­ing them or con­demn­ing them, but let­ting them know you re­al­ize you weren’t a good ex­am­ple to them. In ad­di­tion, as­sure them of your love for them, and that — with God’s help — you hope they’ll learn from your mis­takes.

Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at

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