Being a Christian in College
In a secular world, it can often be difficult to be a proclaimed Christian. When you add college to the equation, it makes your walk of faith even more challenging. Fortunately, coming to college, I had a strong relationship with Christ. Growing up my parents made sure that I developed a relationship with Him for myself. This doesn’t mean that throughout my HU experience I wasn’t tempted or led by sin. There were many occasions when I knew that I shouldn’t have been sipping on a certain drink. The friends that I was associating myself with weren’t uplifting me nor had the same moral values.
God defiantly taught me many lessons during my season of disobedience. These lessons have strengthened my relationship with Christ. Prayerfully, I hope to encourage you on your faith walk with some advice that has kept me grounded so far in college.
1. Find your purpose - Often times as college students we seek to find a career that provides fortune and fame. When you’re living the purpose God has given you the reward is greater than any earthly possessions. My purpose has allowed me to become blinded to the distractions that surround me. Understanding that you’re living God’s purpose for you encourages you to grind even harder. While praying do not ask for things that will comfort you, however ask God to reveal his purpose for you. Once you have an understanding of your purpose be obedient to the Lord and have faith in him. Faith and obedience will not only provide blessings to you but to others.
2. Understand you must do more than pray - Prayers must be supplemented with commitment. We cannot continuously ask God for things, if don’t know who he is. For example, would you ask a stranger for your purpose or to provide for you? I pray you wouldn’t because you do not trust them and moreover, you do not know their intentions. In order for us to build trust and gain knowledge of God we must read our Word. The Word provides real life examples of how to navigate the world. Additionally, it shows us the results of having faith and living out our purpose. One of my favorite books in the bible is Esther. Esther was challenged to go against her husband demands and save Jews like herself. As a result of being obedient and faithful she saved the Jews and received boundless blessings. Obviously, there is much more to her story and I strongly suggest you to read it. Nevertheless, stories like hers teaches Christians the power of faith and submission to God’s will.
3. Surround yourself with like-minded people - Proverbs 13:20 states “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed.” Over the past two years I have become very conscious of what type of energy I bring into my inner circle. When I became associated with a negative crowd, I started doing negative stuff. God was no longer my source of comfort and soon was replaced with alcohol. My “friends” encouraged me to take shots in order to become “happy” again. Often times I didn’t let go of my friends because I didn’t want to be a “loner.” Little did I know that I would never be alone because Christ is always with me. He is omnipresent. God strategically placed friends in my life who have the same morals and passions as me. These friends have kept me accountable of my actions and grown with Christ with me.
4. Find a church you enjoy - When I came to Hampton University I was looking for a church identical to my home church. I absolutely love my church in Cleveland, Ohio. It didn’t take me long to understand that I would never find a church like my home church. Instead of continuing to search for a church home in Hampton, Virginia, I gave up. Thankfully, my mother encouraged me to find a local congregation. Nevertheless, I was able to find a church that allowed me to build a deeper relationship with God. Attending church has given me the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded Christians. Additionally, it has provided another level of accountability and avenue to serve the Lord.
5. Be devoted to God - My home pastor defines devotion as giving up something you love for something you love more. For me, the something I love more is God. Throughout college you are tempted with alcohol, sex, and greed just to name a few. However, when you understand that participating in these activities makes God unhappy you will stop. God will always provide grace to his children. Nonetheless, it is much easier when we consistently participate in activities that are bettering his kingdom. Ultimately, everything that we do in life should be to glorify him only.
Some see being a young Christian as a burden and unfulfilling. I would have to respectfully disagree with that claim. Once I was able to find my purpose through God my life became more fulfilling. No longer did I have the burden of doing life on my own. The Word provided real examples of living with faith and obedience. God then provided me with friends who became my accountability partners and uplifted me. Even though I didn’t find an identical home church, I understood the importance of fellowship. All of my lessons have allowed me to become more devoted to God. It is my prayer that I didn’t burden you with being a Christian however revealed that it isn’t that hard if we are faithful and obedient to the Lord.