Eagle's Eye

What We Can Learn from the life of Billy Graham

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On February 21, 2018, the heart of a giant ceased to beat. Billy Graham, arguably the world’s most renowned evangelist, has died. Graham lived 99 years on this earth, and he made every single one of them about one thing: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether you agree with Graham’s religious views or not, my life was personally impacted by Graham’s teaching.

1. Life is brief, so make it count.

Billy Graham preached thousands of sermons, and in most of them he expressed how brief life is. The Bible says that life is like a vapor, and how true is that? Life is fleeting, and someday you and I will both be gone. What we do in this life matters. Billy Graham stressed that with the brief time we are given, we must strive to make it matter. Ask yourself: how will I matter? What will I do to make this world a better place? What will my legacy be? Figure it out, and then do it. Life is too short to sit around wondering what you will do. You must take action, and it must be for something you believe in!

2. Love your neighbor, even if he doesn’t agree with you.

Billy Graham didn’t just speak like a Christian from behind his pulpit, he lived like a Christian amongst the crowd. He spoke to open agnostics like Woody Allen and Larry King on their shows just like they had been long time friends. He spoke to fellow Evangelical Christians like they were his next of kin, and he always spoke highly of his colleagues. However, the most interesting interaction would without a doubt be Graham’s cooperation with mainline (liberal) Protestant denominations. Graham worked with these bretheren in the faith to further the Gospel, and he didn’t get into small squabbles with them concerning small details of doctrine that divide churches when they shouldn’t be divided. Graham showed that people can disagree on small things, yet still be partners, and can still love each other. We as a people should learn from his example and love our neighbor, even when we disagree with them.

3. Treat others as you would treat yourself.

Billy Graham was not perfect, as none of us are, but, whether it be in his preaching, his discussions with the press, his interactions with the crowds, he always loved others, and that showed vividly in his life, and it shows much more vividly after his death. Graham was a gentle, loving, patient man who not only left a mark by how passionately and widely he spread the Gospel, but by how he treated others, both believers and non-believers. We must always treat others the way we would want to be treated. We must learn to love everyone, and not just those who we can love comfortably. We must be patient, kind, understanding, and we must leave a legacy of love behind for our children, and their children’s children.

Billy Graham was come and gone, but he still lives on in history. Graham once said:

“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now.”
Graham has lived a life of love, service, humility, peace, and a life to God. He is now being rewarded in Heaven, and to all of us, he leaves us a legacy. What will yours be?

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