I’m in my second year of graduate school. That means I’m starting my 17th (I think) first day of the school year. Let me share with you some things I’ve learned.
From third grade until I graduated high school I attended public school. I was one of very, very few students who claimed Christ as my savior. I rode the bus to school and overall, school was a fairly rough environment. I saw a lot of the world a little earlier than I wanted to, and maybe some things I’d rather not know at all. (Like the time I was 12 and someone on the school bus offered me drugs).
When that is your environment and most people you know are both entranced by the things of the world and fairly hostile to the Gospel, what do you do?
How do you share God’s Word with others?
How do you handle it when someone rejects you or what you believe?
Trust me, I’ve been there. It can be hard. Here are some pointers:
1. Be who you are: in Christ.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You have a personality, talents, and passions that God gave you on purpose and for a purpose. Share them. Let people see who God made you to be. If you face rejection or don’t feel like you fit in, find someone you trust to talk to about it. Then remember that you are cherished and loved by our God.
You are in the world and not of it (John 17:14-16; 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 12:2). Seek the Lord, stand up, and go out and be brave. You are called by God (Ephesians 1:3-12) and sent out into your community for the sake of the gospel of Christ. You may have heard this before, but it is SO true. Your school may be the biggest mission field you have.
2. Follow your convictions.
Go out into your school. Make friends. Get to know people and maybe you’ll get the opportunity to minister to them. Maybe you’ll feel led to share Christ with someone you know (or maybe someone you don’t). A friendship is a great foundation for telling someone that you care about their heart and want them to know the Lord. Their salvation is worth the temporary discomfort you may feel before bringing it up. Share God’s Word and tell them how you’ve experienced Him. They’ll know you better as a friend if you share that part of yourself. Maybe they’ll come to know God through it later. That is AWESOME.
Maybe when you reach out to a friend or teammate or someone you sit next to in class you try to be a good influence. That is so great. Do that. But also be careful that you don’t give in to temptation, or become dragged down. Know your convictions and your limits because it’s so easy to slip into sin. Be careful what environments you put yourself into. Establish limits. Know (think about, memorize, and revisit) 1 Corinthians 10:13, that “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” God will help you when you’re tempted. Follow His lead.
Do I really need to qualify this one? Pray always. Seek to hear God and know His will. Walk in the Spirit, and He will lead you through all the tricky situations. You are a child of Christ, trust that He loves you and will guide you because He is good. You are a child of God sealed with His Holy Spirit, empowered to live your life for His glory; so talk to Him about everything!
“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stands in the way of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
But his delight is in the law [instruction] of the LORD,
And on His law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water
That yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers” – Psalm 1:1-3
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
Other Passages to Study/Remember: Ephesians 1, Romans 8
Sarah Beth was an intern with Transform in 2013. She is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Liberty University, where she works in student development, disciples other young women and enjoys life in the mountains.