Parties and drinking are pretty common at college. By making the conscious decision to not engage in underage drinking, you will definitely stand out. How will you answer when someone asks you about it?
Let’s take a snippet from real life. When her friend asked Gwyneth from UNH whether or not she drinks, she answered, “No, because it distracts me from honoring God and from being a better version of myself.” She didn’t share the whole Gospel or her testimony yet her answer was enough to get her friend thinking. Later the same friend initiated a conversation to ask Gwyneth about her beliefs and she was able to share the whole Gospel. When Gwyneth was asked about drinking, she served her friend a spiritual appetizer. It got her thinking, and whetted her appetite for more. Eventually the door was open for Gwyneth to share the whole meal of the whole Gospel and talk with her friend about a relationship with Christ.
Being a light in the secular world means your life and values stand out. In college, you’ll find yourself in conversations with people from different backgrounds where your values may clash, and the conversation turns difficult.
Sometimes we feel so pressured to say all the right things and prove we’ve got the answers that we don’t let the other person talk. Take a breath and listen to the other person and their views. Caring about someone’s spiritual journey breaks down common negative stereotypes about Christians. When others feel heard, they’re more likely to open up about themselves and also listen to you.
When you find yourself in heated conversations, it’s helpful to remember how much God has done to lovingly pursue us to be in relationship with him and how he pursues the people in our lives the same way. God invites us into his pursuit of our friends, but his invitation may sometimes lead us into difficult conversations with them.
Finally, remember God is the one drawing people to Himself. When we rely on His strength, words, and timing, we can enjoy the privilege of being a part of His work. Think of one friend with whom you can pursue an in-depth spiritual conversation where you ask questions and really listen to the other person. Have you thought of someone? Now go for it!
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When you head to college, you might discover you hold beliefs about your faith that you haven’t ever examined on your own. When Shelley was in college, one particular guy on her dorm floor bombarded her with hard questions. Instead of throwing out her faith because she couldn’t answer those questions, Shelley used those unexamined beliefs as a launch pad to make her faith her own.
Having a roommate in college is super different than sharing a room with a sibling at home. You’ll share a relatively small space with a stranger who you know very little about. How can you make it a good experience?
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