From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Recently I ran across an old friend I hadn’t seen in several years. I became very concerned over some of the things he’s doing, because they’re going to destroy him if he isn’t careful. But when I expressed concern he got upset and told me to mind my own business. How can you help someone who doesn’t want your help?

— S.D.

Dear S.D.: I’m thankful you are concerned for your friend, even if he refuses to listen to you. Unfortunately, we can’t always help someone who needs help; some people simply won’t change. After all, not everyone welcomed Jesus. On one occasion, the Bible says, “Many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).

Why do some people refuse to change, even when it’s in their best interest? Sometimes it’s because of pride; they won’t admit they’ve made a wrong decision or are on the wrong road. Sometimes it’s because of a fear of failure; they know they are weak, and they won’t even try to change.

But sometimes it’s because they don’t want to give up whatever they’re doing — even if it’s going to destroy them. Their sin has wrapped its deadly coils around them, and they refuse to turn away from it. Like the people of Jeremiah’s day, “they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts” (Jeremiah 7:24).

What can you do? First, pray for your friend. Pray that he’ll not only face what he’s doing, but that he’ll turn to Christ for the forgiveness and new life he needs. In addition, seek to keep his friendship; someday he may be more open than he is right now. Finally, ask God to help you be an example to him of Christ’s love and goodness and transforming power.