I’m a college student, and I’ve gone to church most of my life. But now I’m facing some strong temptations and I don’t think I have the courage to resist them. I admit I’ve always been told that God says they’re wrong, but why shouldn’t I give in and have a good time for a few years? — W.T.
I sincerely hope you won’t give in to these temptations, strong as they may seem right now. I know it’s hard for someone your age to look ahead 20 or 30 years — but if you could, you’d only regret going down this wrong road.
Have you ever asked yourself why God has told us that some things are morally wrong, and commanded us not to do them? It isn’t because He wants to make us miserable or keep us from enjoying life — not at all. The reason is because He knows what will happen to us if we ignore His rules and live without any sense of right and wrong. He knows that if we break His commandments, we’ll only end up hurting ourselves — as well as others. The Bible bluntly warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Why does God care whether or not we break His commands? The reason is because He loves us, and He doesn’t want us to wreck our lives. But we will if we disobey Him. It may not be obvious at first; the Bible acknowledges that a life of sin may have its pleasures “for a short time” (Hebrews 11:25). But in the long run sin will ravage your mind and body, and cut you off from God.
You stand at a crossroads in your life right now. My prayer is that you will take the right road, by giving your life to Jesus Christ and asking Him to help you know His will — and then do it.
The Rev. Billy Graham, whose column appears in Faith & Values every Saturday, can be contacted at “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201.