Q: Whenever I go back home, my mother's friends go out of their way to say they're praying for me. I know they're just trying to get under my skin because they don't agree with the way I'm living. Why can't religious people mind their own business and quit trying to run mine? — J.P.
A: Have you ever asked yourself why your mother's friends seem concerned about you, and wish you weren't living the way you are?
It isn't because they think they're better than you are, or because they like to gossip (or at least I hope not). The reason is because they care about you, and they know something that you don't know (or at least something you refuse to admit), which is this: Whether you realize it or not, you're on a wrong road in life, and eventually it will only bring you sorrow and heartache. It may even lead to your destruction. The Bible warns, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).
But your mother's friends also know you have an even deeper problem: You've shut God out of your life. In other words, you think you know better than God does what's best for you. But is that true? No, of course not. God created us and put us on this earth, and He knows far better than we do what's best for us.
Don't let pride, or pleasure, or anything else keep you from God. He loves you, and He alone can give you the security and peace you seek. Turn from your sins and open your heart to Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "In him was life, and that life was the light of men" (John 1:4).
Q: My friend refuses to think about anything dealing with life after death. He says the only thing that interests him is his life right now. And anyway, he says, he believes everything will work out for the best somehow. How can I get through to him? — L.Y.
A: Your friend isn't alone; if you stood on a street corner in almost any major city today and asked people how much they think about God or life after death, most would probably give you a similar answer.
Why is this? Why do so many people put their heads in the sand (so to speak) and refuse to think about what will happen to them when they die? One reason, I'm afraid, is because it's simply easier. Why bother thinking about eternity when you have so many other things going on in your life right now? Like the man in one of Jesus' parables, they say to themselves, "Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry" (Luke 12:19).
But often people refuse to think about eternity for another reason: They like the way they're living right now, and they're afraid that if they take God or eternity seriously, they'll have to change. And they might be right, because Christ calls us to repent of our sins and follow Him alone.
Pray for your friend; only God can change his heart and show him the folly of his ways. Pray, too, that you will be a witness for Christ by the way you live — by your love for others and the purity of your life. Remember Jesus' words: "You are the light of the world.... Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14,16).
(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: http://www.billygraham.org.)