Jesus had a forgiving and understanding heart
Published 12:36 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2020
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Why does the Bible say that we should be like Christ when it is humanly impossible to do so? — C.P.
Dear C.P.: We’ll never live perfect lives on Earth, but for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, He desires to conform us to the image of His Son who is perfect. He wants us to have pure hearts and strive to be Christlike. At the time of salvation, Christ, through His Spirit, comes and abides in our lives and changes our desires. The Bible says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
Jesus had a humble heart. If He abides in us, pride will never dominate our lives. Jesus had a loving heart. If He dwells within us, hatred and bitterness will never rule us. Jesus had a forgiving and understanding heart. If He lives within us, mercy will temper our pride and help us to be more like Jesus who had no selfish interests, because His one desire was to do His Father’s will.
This is the essence of Christlikeness — an eager obedience to please Him in all things. It becomes not an obligation, but a blessed privilege to walk in His steps. Some say, “That’s a big order!” It certainly is. In fact, it’s impossible in our own strength.
Paul recognized that he could never attain purity in heart by his own striving. He said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Christ imparts His attributes to us through the power of salvation. The righteousness of God is credited to those who confess their sins and receive Christ.
The greatest happiness that comes to the pure heart is when our relationship with God is restored.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)