From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
People often react with the explanation: “I can’t believe I said (or did) that. I didn’t even realize what I was doing until it was too late.” Satan had deceived them into thinking something wasn’t really a sin.
Some claim there is no such thing as right and wrong. But God says otherwise. Don’t forget: Giving into temptation means to do wrong in the eyes of God. Label sin for what it is: sin, and know what the Bible teaches right and wrong.
Every day we are battered by messages from the media, advertising, entertainment, celebrities, even our friends, with one underlying theme: “Live for yourself.” The world hammers away at us, trying to shape us into its mold. After all, isn’t everyone doing it? But God tells us not to conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2).
When we belong to God, He alerts us when temptation comes knocking. Alarm bells go off in our souls! We must be aware not only of obvious temptations, but for the subtle ones—temptations of the tongue or emotions or thoughts or motives. The psalmist prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23). God provides the Christian power to overcome temptation.
There are times we face “gray areas,” things that aren’t necessarily forbidden by the Bible but still may not belong in our lives. When conflicted about whether something is wrong, we can ask these questions: Does this glorify God? Does it draw me closer to Christ, or does it make me preoccupied with this world? Will it harm my health or hurt me in some other way? Will it cause hurt to someone else? Wise Christians are guided by this thought: When in doubt—don’t.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)