A: Yes, unfortunately this is a common problem, although it shouldn’t be. After all, if we truly love those in our family we should want what’s best for them — and what could be better than for them to learn that God loves them and Christ died for them? Paul’s young friend Timothy apparently came to faith because of the witness of his grandmother and mother (see 2 Timothy 1:5).
Why are we embarrassed to talk about our faith to those who are closest to us? One reason may be because we’re afraid they’ll reject it — and therefore they’ll reject us. It’s easier (we reason) just to keep quiet, and hope they’ll see that our lives are different because of Jesus. But why should we worry about their reaction? If we’ve prayed for them and trusted God to guide us, we can leave the results in His hands.
But sometimes we’re afraid to talk to those who are closest to us because we know we aren’t very good examples of what it means to be a Christian. We get irritable or impatient or moody or angry, although we know we shouldn’t be that way — not if we’re following Jesus. We have forgotten Jesus’ words: “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
Pray for your family, that they may realize their need of Christ. Pray for yourself also, that God will help you be a witness to them of His love and grace — both by the way you live and the words you speak.
Q: I grew up in a religious home, but after I got a job in another city I kind of forgot about God. Most of my friends here are the same way. Maybe we’ll get back to God when we get older, but we’re happy the way we are, and that’s what counts, isn’t it? — Z.K.
A: Let me ask you a question: Are you convinced — absolutely convinced — that you’re on the right road in life? And are you sure — absolutely sure — that it will bring you true and lasting happiness?
I don’t think you are sure; otherwise, why would you have written me? Even if you have only a small seed of doubt in your mind about the way you’re living, I pray it will sprout and grow and eventually bear fruit: the “fruit” of faith. Why do I say this? The reason is because, whether you realize it or not, the road you’re on will never bring you lasting happiness, nor will it end up in lasting peace. Jesus warned, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matthew 7:13).
It’s hard not to follow the crowd; no one likes to be laughed at or rejected. But God made us, and life’s greatest joy comes from knowing Him and following His plan for us every day of our lives. Only then will we know why we are here, and only then will we know the joy of His presence.
This is why I challenge you to turn to Jesus Christ and give your life to Him. Jesus’ words are true: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
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.