Going to university is one of the biggest steps that students take in their education journey. Not just because students pick courses that they believe will lead them to their future career choices, but because that’s where most students attain their first true taste of independence. It’s where your character is tested by the freedom and responsibility of being true to yourself. It’s important for you as a Christian to know how to guard your faith in university.
If you were born into a Christian home or are going into university as a Christian, university is a strong testing ground for your faith. Especially since it breeds an environment that can sometimes be anti-authority and anti-religion.
How do you guard your faith in university?
Your faith may not have been fully tested until you’ve had the chance to leave the comfort of the known (your home). University is a place where you carry the responsibility of focussing on your education without any prompting from your parents or teachers.
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It’s also the place where you decide if you’re going to fall under the pressures of the world and self because you want a taste of the world, or because you want to sleep in and not have to read your Bible, pray or go to church.
Below are a few tips on how to guard your faith in university.
- It’s very important that you place yourself in the right environment. This includes going to the right church, fellowships, Christian-led meet-ups, and gatherings. When you place yourself in environments that edify God and your spirit, it’s a lot easier to stay steadfast and focused on Christ.
- While it’s important to place yourself in the right environment, it’s also very important to stay away from the wrong environment. Stay away from places that breed and promote sin. This includes clubs or certain parties and gatherings. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 that we should “abstain from every appearance of evil”. This means that you have to keep yourself from any environment that will tease your flesh and that will affect your mind. If it’s going to have you arguing with the Holy Spirit, just stay away from it.
- Surround yourself with the right friends. A pastor once illustrated in his sermon that it’s easier to pull someone off a chair than to pull someone up. It’s the same thing for Christians. It is a lot easier to drag someone into sin than it is to lift someone to Christ. Let the people who influence you be people who will push you to grow in Christ. When you surround yourself with people who love and fear God, it’s a lot easier to stay in Christ.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?2 Corinthians 6:14
- Stop trying to test yourself. I’ve heard people say that they wanted to check if they’d overcome and some have said that certain things are just a test. Well, not all tests are from God. Sometimes, we cause our own failures and downfalls by putting ourselves in situations that we could’ve avoided. So let it go and stop deceiving yourself, just don’t do it. Don’t watch that thing, don’t speak to that person, don’t go to that place and don’t have that conversation. Sometimes, the test is whether you will leave or whether you will allow sin to have a chance.
- Watch what you allow into your mind. Be careful of the things that you watch and listen to. It’s what you feed yourself that grows within you. So if you feed yourself with the things of the world, your flesh will grow stronger. However, if you feed yourself with the word of God and the presence of God, your spirit will grow. It’s in growing spiritually that you’re able to guard your faith in university and anywhere else. So it’s important that you feed yourself with the word of God instead of the things of the world so you don’t lose your strength in Christ.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.Colossians 3:16
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay in Christ. It’s important that you remember that our salvation was gained by grace and not by power. For lack of a better term, in order to “keep” your salvation, it is only by the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance. So keep speaking to God and when He speaks back, listen and obey. Be sensitive to the Spirit of God and He will direct your path and keep you from falling. Ask the Holy Spirit for help and He’ll direct you to the right people and the right places. Ask Him to give you the right mindset and heart for God.
- Remind yourself of why you’ve chosen to love God. If you feel like Christianity was forced on you because of your family or background, evaluate your life and your faith and draw closer to God. Find the reason why you’re with God and remind yourself of the benefits of being in Christ. At the end of the day, nothing in this world is worth losing our connection to God.