The focus on self has led our society into a fascination with pleasure

Published 8:05 am Friday, February 9, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I grew up in church but I have to admit that I now identify as a “None.” I still believe in God but in a very different way, not setting aside self, but building up confidence in who I am and experiencing God in the interesting things I do – traveling the world, meeting people of different persuasions and religions. God is very different from what I learned growing up. It’s better to stay busy and not think of it too much. – A.N.

Dear A.N.: Often people stay busy to avoid thinking about life’s meaning. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (see 2 Corinthians 13:5).
Whatever period of history we study, whatever culture we examine, if we look back in time we see all peoples, primitive or modern, acknowledging some kind of deity. Some people give up the pursuit of God in frustration and identify as atheists, agnostics, or profess to be nothing at all.
The focus on self has led our society into a fascination with pleasure, emotional stimulation, and personal fulfillment. The compulsion for “maximum personhood” is evidenced everywhere. In this age of humanism, people are seduced with the lie that we can become our own god. The New Age movement is polluted with self and it will never bow before God – at least not until Christ returns.
Those who constantly pursue “good times” often signifies emptiness deep down inside. The Bible warns of becoming callous and insensitive toward God; it can block His voice from being heard. “He who … hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1, NKJV).
It has been said that in order to tune in to God’s voice, we must tune out this world’s noise. The Lord says, “Return to Me … and I will return to you” (Zechariah 1:3, NKJV).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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