Christians in College – Learn Ways to Keep the Faith
Learn Ways to Strengthen Your Walk While Attending College
Keeping and growing your faith while in college can be a challenge. Making a regular habit of the following ideas can help make it a little easier.
- Study to know why you believe what you believe and to be able to answer the questions others raise.
- Find a good church to support you on your journey.
- Run away from sin so as not to hamper your worship and your walk.
- Keep your eyes on the goal of glorifying God and making disciples.
If you regularly practice these ideas, you will be much better off navigating the spiritually dangerous waters of college.
Know Why You Believe
1 Peter 3:15 says that you should always be ready to give a defense for the hope that is inside of you. The essence of what Peter is saying here is know why you believe what you believe and be able to explain that to others. If your answer to why you believe something is, “That is just what I was taught,” you are on shaky ground.
The Bible is the foundation for the Christian faith. It teaches us about Jesus, leads us to salvation, and guides us in becoming like Him. However, all that means nothing if the Bible has been corrupted over the centuries or was never trustworthy to begin with. Would you be able to answer these questions?
- Why do you believe the Bible?
- How do you know the Bible is true?
- How do you know what we call the Bible today is what was originally written?
Each believer must answer these crucial questions for himself. There are solid answers available. If you want your faith to survive the onslaught of secular academia, dive deep and take ownership of what you believe.
Do Not Be Swayed by Human Reasoning
No one can know everything there is to know about God or His Word. Whether you are a new believer or one who has grown up in the church, odds are at some point you will hear a challenge to your faith that you will not know how to answer right away. Some arguments will seem quite convincing. Do not let your faith be shaken. Rather, take the path of “I don’t know right now, but I will find out.”
The Bible has a lot to say about human reasoning. Here are just a few examples.
- The things of God that seem most foolish are wiser than the collective wisdom of man. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
- God has given us power to “demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- Only a fool says there is no God (Psalm 14:1)
Trust that God is big enough for your questions as well as the questions of others who may attack your faith. Also, trust that numerous believers have considered the big questions against Christianity for centuries before you. Do not be swayed by a “clever” question. Rather, be diligent enough to seek out the answers.
Go to Church
No one is meant to live the Christian life in isolation. Without a solid community of mature believers, you are essentially an ill-equipped soldier alone on a fierce battlefield. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 extols the virtues of strong companionship by telling us “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Hebrews 10:24-25 says we should not give up meeting together but rather should come together to encourage one another.
The local church is God’s answer to the believer’s need for spiritual support.
In Ephesians 4:11-14, we see that the church is well equipped for training believers to maturity. God gives pastors and teachers to the church so that believers under their care will not be “little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.”
No matter how diligent you are to seek out answers on your own, you will always need the fellowship, love and spiritual protection a church body provides.
Flee From Sin
Nothing can hamper your faith more effectively than sin in your life. When you are rebelling against God, you naturally withdraw from Him and His people. In Matthew 5:23-34, Jesus tells us to deal with sin, in this case sin against a brother, before coming to worship. Sin isolates you, sometimes just as much as not being in church at all.
Remember this three-fold approach to dealing with sin:
- Develop godly habits, and you will not want to sin. (Galatians 5:16-25)
- When faced with temptation, resist it and look for the way out. (James 4:7, 1 Corinthians 10:13)
- When you do fall, confess and turn back to God to be forgiven. (1 John 1:9)
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Above all, remember why you are here. It is not to “party”, find a spouse, or even get a college degree. Many activities and priorities will vie for your attention. Even trivial things can seem very important in the moment.
Ultimately, you have one purpose and one mission:
- Your purpose is to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7, 1 Peter 4:11, 1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Your mission is to be a disciple who makes disciples (Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2).
When you lose sight of this, take a deep breath, say a deep prayer, and then get back on track. Being made like Jesus is a process that will take your entire life.
Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,
I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.