From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

What can I tell my buddy who is interested in Jesus but wants no part in having to give up the fun things in life in order to follow Him? — F.D.

Dear F.D.: We shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that the Christian life is negative in a way that suggests we must give up everything we enjoy. While the Bible tells us what we shouldn’t do, in order to live life to the fullest and in obedience to God (as in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20), the Bible also tells us what to do, as in the beautiful message Jesus preached, known as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5).

The same Jesus that said, “Go and sin no more,” is the same Jesus that said to His followers: I want you to be full of joy (John 15:11). God wants to give us that same quality of life.

When God takes away a sinful habit, He replaces it with a better way of living. When He takes away gossip or cursing, He replaces them with words of love and encouragement. God doesn’t just want to remove the bad things in our lives; He wants to replace them with His goodness; to remake us from within.

Those who imagine that the Christian life is negative and cheerless and dull, they are gravely mistaken. God never removes something from our lives without replacing it with something far better. It might not seem so at the time, but we later marvel at God’s wisdom and goodness.

Obey Him and heed what the Bible says: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This is good and acceptable to God in Heaven and this is what gives us the strength to live a joyful life.