Staying Christian in College
- May 09, 2017
- Ansley Rikard
When it comes to college, you get to decide what happens to your faith.
Before I left for college, I heard an important piece of advice. Someone told me, “You will either sink or swim for the next four years (or five…victory laps are good stuff). You can’t float – you won’t float. You’ll either grow in your faith or you’ll fall away from the Lord.” Although hearing these words has served me well as an undergrad, they can be applied to any and all seasons of life.
I decided before I left for school that I wanted to swim.
For me, in order to do that, I had to figure out why I was a Christian. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it before. I knew that I was a Christian – but why? Why do I believe the Bible is true? Why do I believe I am saved from my sin? Why do I believe that Jesus came to earth, fully God fully man, to be crucified? Why do I believe that He actually rose from the dead? Why do I believe that I actually don’t deserve grace? Why do I believe that I am fully loved and fully known? Why do I believe in forgiveness?
Questions are good. Not all of them have answers, and not being able to answer questions isn’t bad – I ask a lot of questions, and a lot of questions I ask go unanswered, but that doesn’t mean I stop asking. In particular, these questions I wrestled with before college all had answers in God’s word. I found the answers and I wrote them down. Writing down truth regarding why I believe what I believe has led me to a whole new understanding of why I follow Christ.
I walked into college knowing that – yes – I am going to trust, follow, and pursue God. Yes – I am going to strive after holiness. Yes – I am going to thrive in college because Jesus is enough and He is Lord of my life. Yes – I am going to find a church because I want to gather with believers once a week and worship the Lord in community. Yes – I am going to find friends that love and live for Christ. Yes – above all else, I am going to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).
Yes – I am going to swim.
College is not easy. But just as Paul writes in Romans 5, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Grace abounds. God’s grace is real and it is a gift (Ephesians 2:8).
Figure out why you are a Christian and write it down. Why does it matter to you? Knowing why you believe what you believe will serve you well for the rest of your life.