A: What your boyfriend is actually saying is that he doesn’t think he needs God -- and that should concern you very much. Not only does it create a barrier between you right now, but it should warn you about potential problems in the future -- especially if you were to get married. The Bible warns, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
What can you say to your boyfriend? First, you might ask him how he defines sin. Is it only a horrible crime or act of violence? Is it only being enslaved by a terrible habit, like drugs or alcohol? If that’s all sin is, then he’d probably be right in his position. He reminds me of the man in one of Jesus’ stories who declared, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people — robbers, evildoers, adulterers” (Luke 18:11).
But your boyfriend (like the one in Jesus’ story) is guilty of a sin that’s even greater than any of these. It is the sin of pride, and the reason it’s so serious is because it cuts us off from God. We think we don’t need God, and we don’t want anything to do with Him.
Pray for your boyfriend, that God will open his eyes to his need for Christ. Ask God also to help you be an example to him of God’s love and purity and righteousness. Your friend needs Christ, and God wants to use you to help him face his need.
Q: I’m really scared because I’m due to get out of jail in a couple of months, and I know I don’t have what it takes to stay out of trouble. I know I’ll just end up here again, like I have before. Please pray for me. — S.J.
A: It may surprise you to learn that you’ve already taken the first step toward a new life by admitting you’re weak and need help. The person who’s in the greatest danger is the one who thinks he or she is strong enough and doesn’t need help from anyone, including God.
Now, take the next step by actually turning to God, telling Him that you know you’re weak and need His help. God wants to come into your life and forgive your sins — and He will, as you ask Christ to take over your life. Only one thing separates us from God, and that is our sin This is true for every one of us, no matter who we are. But when Jesus died on the cross, all your sins and your guilt were placed on Him, and He died in your place. The Bible says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
But God not only takes away our sins when we come to Him; He also comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit. Think of it: God actually lives within you once you commit your life to Jesus! And when temptations come, He is ready to help you.
How will He help you? One way will be by surrounding you with other Christians to support you. Don’t fight your battles alone, but fight them with Christ and His people.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.