I thought I’d licked my drug habit, and I did for a few months after getting out of rehab. But a few weeks ago, I ran across some old friends, and now I’ve stumbled. Please pray for me, that I’ll get my life straightened out somehow. — M.C.
One reason I wanted to reprint your letter is because it vividly illustrates an important spiritual truth: Stay away from people who you know will tempt you to do wrong. The Bible rightly says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
What can you do? First, realize that God doesn’t want you to destroy yourself with drugs (or in any other way). God loves you — and because He loves you, He wants what is best for you. He wants to put your feet on a different path — and He will, as you turn your life over to Him and learn to walk with Christ every day. This is why the most important step you can take is to turn to Jesus Christ and open your heart and life to Him. You need His help — and He wants to give it to you.
Then deliberately turn your back on your old life and discover the new life Christ has for you.
Avoid people and places that will tempt you to use drugs.
Then seek out a church where Christ is preached and taught, and ask God to help you find new friends there who can encourage and help you.
If you need further help, the pastor can point you to resources in your community.
It isn’t necessarily easy to break habits like this - but with God’s help, you can.
He’ll help you face your problems and deal with them, instead of trying to escape from them through drugs. Remember: “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).
Retirement years can be the best of your life
For years I looked forward to quitting my job and retiring, but now that I’m actually retired I don’t know what to do with myself. I thought I hated my job, but now I’d give almost anything to have it back. What’s wrong? — J.W.L.
Monday is Labor Day in the United States, a day when our nation honors all those who’ve made our nation great through their work. Our nation owes much to them, and they truly have exemplified the Bible’s injunction: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Unfortunately, many people have the same attitude you once had toward your job: They wish they didn’t have to work and yearn for the day when they can stop working and retire. This isn’t necessarily all wrong, of course; eventually most of us will step aside and allow those who are younger to take our place. In the Bible, the Levites (who maintained the nation’s place of worship) were required to retire at the age of 50, so younger men could take up the work (see Numbers 8:24-26).
But we easily forget two important truths. First, we forget that God gave our work to us, and it’s an important part of His plan for our lives. The Bible says, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
The second truth we often forget is this: We need to ask God to show us His will for our retirement years.
Don’t waste them, but find another job... volunteer your time to help others... get more involved in your church. With God’s help these can be the best years of your life.
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 the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.