Like Jesus, we are to be in the world, but not of the world

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2022

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My son has been a good kid but lately he is giving in to peer pressure from his friends who have talked him out of going to church, and it’s changing his behavior. While he’s not really comfortable with some of the things they do and say, he feels accepted, and belonging to this group makes him happy. He tries to persuade me that he can make a difference in their lives, but instead they are making a difference in his. Doesn’t that usually spell danger? — F.P.

Dear F.P.: If you add food coloring to water and then put the stems of white flowers in the water for about eight hours in the daytime, they will turn the color of the water! As the water in the flowers evaporate, the stems “drink up” the colored water, and the flowers change color.

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This little science experiment is a good example of why Christians should be careful about how we live among people who do not know the Lord — yet.

Nearly everyone Jesus spent time with was an outcast — someone most people treated in an unfriendly way. But His relationship with them was not just about friendship. He wanted to bring them to God.

Like Jesus, we are to be in the world, but not of the world. When we reach out to others in the name of the Lord — giving them the truth, we are participating in the world, showing that we care. But if we start acting like the world, participating in their questionable behavior, bad language, or exposing our minds to destructive entertainment, then we are worldly. Our purpose in being in the world is to be God’s light — to let others see Jesus in us. We must ask if we are loving people in the world without being changed by them.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)