Face your aunt’s bitterness with love
by Billy Graham
May 16, 2014 11:23 PM | 1275 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: My aunt is a very bitter person, and to be honest I can understand why, since she’s had some real disappointments. She claims to be a Christian, but I’m not sure if she really is. Aren’t Christians supposed to be kind and forgiving? — Mrs. M. McN.

A: Yes, Christians are supposed to be kind and forgiving toward others -- just as Christ is toward us. And we will be, when we give up trying to change our lives by our own strength and allow Christ to change us. The Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Does this mean your aunt’s faith isn’t genuine? Not necessarily; only God knows her heart, and it’s not up to you to judge her. But Christians aren’t perfect, and Satan will do everything he can to turn us away from Christ. We may not even realize it’s happening — until it’s too late. The Bible calls him “a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

One of the devil’s chief tricks is to turn our emotions away from God, twisting them instead into anger or jealousy or greed or bitterness. They become like a poison, eating away at our souls and pulling us farther and farther from Christ. The Bible warns, “See to it... that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15).

Pray for your aunt, that God will convict her of her bitterness, and replace it with His love and forgiveness. Pray, too, that you will be an example to her of Christ’s love and compassion. And pray, as well, that God will give you an opportunity to speak candidly (and yet gently) with her about her need for Christ’s healing touch on her heart.

Q: Does God still do miracles, like He did in biblical times? If He does, why doesn’t He do more of them? Maybe more people would believe in Him if He did. — K.J.H.

A: God is not limited, and He is certainly able to work in miraculous ways today just as He did in biblical times, if He so chooses. If He didn’t, why would we bother to pray when a loved one falls ill or God’s work is opposed by evil forces?

At the same time, much of what God does in the world is hidden from us. Think, for example, of the work He has given His angels to do on our behalf. Occasionally they may make their presence known, but for the most part, they’re hidden from us, and only in heaven will we understand how they protected us or delivered us from danger. Much of what they do could be labeled as miracles. The Bible says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).

Would more people believe in God or in Christ if they saw a miracle? Not necessarily. Countless people saw Jesus perform miracles, yet they refused to believe in Him or give their lives to Him. Don’t let this be true of you!

The greatest miracle of all, however, is the miracle of a changed life -- and this can happen, as we open our hearts and lives to Christ. Do others see Christ in you — His love, His compassion, His purity, His joy? Make sure of your commitment to Christ, then ask Him to change you from within by His Holy Spirit, and make you a living witness to the miracle of His transforming power.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides