Why Christians Shouldn’t Have Faith in Humanity

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Classmates shave their heads in solidarity with a sick child.

Someone shares their meal with a homeless man on the street.

A policeman stops to help a little kid tie their shoe.

And the world cries, “Faith in humanity restored!”

Even Christians talk this way without even thinking about it. But I think there’s a problem with Christians using this phrase. Isn’t the fallenness of humanity one of our fundamental beliefs?

Truthfully, we can have no ultimate faith in humanity. 

If our faith is in humanity, our faith is in something that will always ultimately fail us. Back in the Garden of Eden, humanity failed us, in the form of Adam and Eve, and ever since then people have been a mess.

The kid will get bullied. The homeless man will get ignored. The disabled girl will be ridiculed and the bad people will reach the top, no matter how little they deserve it. That one sin back in Genesis started a chain reaction that will continue for the whole history of Earth.

Ultimately people will always fail, and people who put their hope in people will always be disappointed.

But what about all those heartwarming stories, all those people doing genuinely good things? They can’t be discounted completely. They can’t be ignored. If humanity is really in as horrible a state as I’ve described, how do we explain random acts of kindness, acts of service, acts of love?

These things should not restore our faith in humanity. They should restore our faith in God. 

If the Christian looks at the good things in the world and feels restored faith for humanity, they are committing idolatry, putting humans in the place of God. When we look at the good things in the world, our faith in God should be strengthened, increased, heightened.

Because if humanity is really as badly messed up as Christianity believes, the existence of any good at all is proof that God is present, and He is always working.

He is the one prompting people to serve others, changing hearts and changing lives. On our own, humanity can’t get anywhere. We’re stuck in a cycle of anger and fear and hurt and selfishness. But with God, anything is possible. And because of Christ, He can take a broken humanity and bring beautiful things out of it.

So, those “faith in humanity” Pinterest posts and stories on the radio? They should mean so much to the Christian, because we know that the existence of those posts and stories is only because of God’s grace to the world. When we hear them, we should not feel an arrogant faith in the human race. We should feel a humble, grateful faith in God, who is the only source of beauty and goodness, and who can redeem anyone.

Faith in humanity will get us nowhere. Faith in God will.

love, grace

What do you think? Have you ever really thought about this phrase before? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Share in the comments below! 

Read more:

After the Rain: Lessons from a Stormy Day

Why I Don’t Limit Myself to “Christian” Entertainment

Boundaries, Rebellion, and “Living on the Edge”

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Why I Don’t Limit Myself to “Christian” Entertainment

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Surprise! A post on a Friday. I had something I really wanted to share while it was still fresh in my mind. I think I’ll continue to do this; I plan my Saturday posts ahead, but sometimes I get ideas that just can’t wait. So you may get a surprise post every now and then.

There’s Christian music and Christian books and Christian movies.

There’s also secular music and secular books and secular movies.

So what do we listen to, read, and watch, and what do we avoid? Do we only consume explicitly Christian media, or is secular entertainment fine as long as it is appropriate?

Here are my thoughts on this:

God created the world. God is truth. The created world cannot help but reflect God’s truth. Secular media may unknowingly reflect deep and profound truths about God and who we are in God.

Of course, there are many sources of entertainment that are completely inappropriate or promote messages absolutely contrary to Christianity. Those are a no-no, no questions asked, no exceptions.

But in the vaguer areas, the songs that are appropriate but don’t really have a “Christian” message, the children’s movies that aren’t inappropriate but aren’t particular Christ-centered either, the books by secular authors, look for little nuggets of truth.

They may be unintentional, but they will be there.

This train of thought, for me, was sparked by the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. I was listening to it on the way home from dance and started wondering whether, as a Christian, I should limit myself only to Christian music.

Then I started paying attention to the words of the song.

Here’s just a few lines that really hit me.

“Everybody’s been there,

Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy

“Fallen for the fear

“And done some disappearing…

“Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue…

“And since your history of silence

“Won’t do you any good

“Did you think it would?

“Let your words be anything but empty

“Why don’t you tell them the truth?”

That could be a Christian song, couldn’t it? As I listened to these words, I felt myself inspired to be a witness, to stand up for what I believe without fear, to stop my shy silence and speak up. Even though it doesn’t specifically mention God or Christianity, this song got me thinking about spiritual things. And anything that does that, to me, is good.

If we really listen, we can find truth all around us. And that can be so encouraging.

So use discernment. Don’t limit yourself just to Christian media. When you do consume secular entertainment, pay close attention to the worldviews and messages. When you find anti-Christian messages, avoid them, as I’m sure you’ve been told many times before.

But there is a flip-side to that, too, that rarely gets mentioned. When you find truth in secular media, rejoice! Let it encourage you.

God can speak through sources that aren’t explicitly Christian. Secular media can portray truth and beauty as well as, or better than, “Christian” entertainment. God is the creator of all art, everything that is lovely and good, and art is meant to be enjoyed.

love, grace

What do you think? Have you ever found exciting nuggets of truth in secular entertainment? Do you disagree with me, and limit yourself to strictly “Christian” media? How do you use discernment in your entertainment choices? Share in the comments below! 

Read more:

5 Ways to Stay Grounded in Truth This School Year

A Peek Inside My Music Library

Thoughts on Unrealistic Expectations and “Happily Ever After”

4 Ways to Stay Content in Singleness (The Relationship Series, part 5)

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Read the other posts here: God’s Purpose for RomanceGod’s Purpose for SinglenessAvoiding Drama and TemptationDeveloping Your Convictions

 

For the final post of this series, I want to address singleness one more time. Because it’s one thing to decide you aren’t going to date in high school, and it’s something else altogether to actually rest in that decision with contentment in the everyday.

So how do we make the most of our singleness, not spending this whole season just waiting for the next, but truly living in it?

Develop a full, dedicated relationship with God.

Our primary focus while we are single is learning and growing in our relationship with God, pouring all that love out to him that will someday be given to another person. He is our first love, our focus, and where we get all of our joy and contentment. When you’re single, you’re not “alone”. You’re with God.

So spend lots of time getting to know Him and getting close to Him. Read your Bible consistently. Spend daily time in prayer and praise. Center your entire life around this most important relationship you will ever have.

Take advantage of your freedom.

When you are single, you have much more freedom, time and energy available. God put you in a season of singleness so that you could avoid distractions and focus completely on His work (1 Corinthians 7).

Take advantage of the time, resources, and emotional energy that you aren’t investing a relationship and invest them into the work of God’s kingdom. Pursue your calling with diligence and faith. Seek opportunities to further God’s glory in the world, maybe through traveling or mission work.

For more on this, I HIGHLY recommend this incredible talk from Breakaway Ministries. (The whole series is great if you’re looking for more Christian opinions on dating and marriage.)

Be ready if someone expresses interest.

So…you’re committed to singleness. You’re living a life dedicated to God. And then someone starts acting interested in you, or even directly asks you out. How do you handle this situation?

First of all, never lead anyone on. If someone starts flirting with you or acting interested, do not lead them on if you have no intention of actually dating them. It’s fun in the moment, but will only lead to hurt feelings. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Know what to say ahead of time. If someone asks you to date directly, you will probably be too flustered to be able to graciously refuse in the moment. Depending on your emotions to carry you through could lead to disaster, so plan a response ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be completely scripted, but you should have a general plan. Refuse graciously, but firmly, and don’t be afraid to explain your convictions if necessary.

And when you refuse someone, don’t leave loopholes that could lead to a just-friends-but-not-actually unofficial dating situation. That is not a good situation to be in.

Be ready when jealousy sets in.

Even if you are single and living a full, wonderful life devoted to God, there will be moments. You will see a couple in the hallway at school. You will read a story with a really sweet romance. One of your friends will start dating, get engaged, get married…and you will start thinking about how much you desperately want that to be you.

When this happens, first of all, remember that romance is never as smooth as it looks from the outside. Books and movies make it look perfect and wonderful, and it is that idealized image that is likely making you jealous.

Then remember your reasons for singleness. Instead of letting the seeds of jealousy grow in your mind, turn Satan’s intentions against him and use the moment to renew and refresh your commitment to singleness and to God.

Finally, remember that God is in control. His plan for your love story is infinitely better than anything you could come up with on your own. Trust in that.

 

What do you think? Have you enjoyed this series? Are there other relationship-related topics that you would like to see me address in the future? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace

 

Developing Your Convictions on Dating (The Relationship Series, part 4)

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If you missed the first three parts to this series, find them here: God’s Purpose for RomanceGod’s Purpose for Singleness, and Avoiding Drama and Temptation.

I’ve spent several weeks sharing the reasons for my choice not to date in high school. To recap:

  • The purpose of dating is to see if someone is potential husband or wife material. Dating for fun has no value.
  • High school is a season of life where it’s important to be developing a close relationship with God as we figure out where we’re going in adulthood. Anything that distracts from that with no purpose is not a good idea.
  • Dating adds a lot of potential for drama into life, as well as temptations to compromise purity. Those things are better avoided as long as possible.

But now, I want to clarify something: Not everyone is going to have the same convictions on this. 

There is no verse in the Bible that says “Thou shalt not date in high school.” So this is an area in which everyone has to weigh the pros and cons and come to their own decision.

For me, the cons greatly outweighed the pros, and I felt that God was calling me to avoid dating in this season of life. But that may not be the same for everyone. For one person, they may decide to date as soon as their parents will let them. Someone else may feel called to remain single until their twenties. And there will be many in between those two extremes.

So how do you determine what your convictions are? Spend time in the Word, as well as reading articles and/or books by Christian people you trust (I would recommend I Kissed Dating Goodbye)Once you have a good idea of the arguments on both sides, and where those arguments are coming from in the Bible, spend time in prayer that God would show you what He wants you to do.

I would encourage you to seriously challenge any arguments, whether for or against something, that have to do with personal benefits, having fun, or looking good to other people. Don’t be afraid to confront any wrong motivations you discover and make the hard choice to let those reasons go.

It’s important to note, as well, that convictions may change or be adapted as time goes by and you mature in your faith. Be open to God’s prompting and willing to learn and grow when the time comes.

What If I’ve Already Messed Up?

Maybe you’re reading this as someone who has already been in their share of bad relationships, who started dating young, who has compromised their purity, or done other things relationship-wise that you regret. There are two things I want you to know:

1. God does not condemn you. There is grace to cover all things. 

The whole message of Christianity centers around grace, forgiveness of sins. No one is perfect, or even close to it, and that is why Jesus came! God will forgive you no matter what, absolutely, with no conditions, over and over. Trust in that.

2. It’s never too late to start living to honor God. 

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your past looks like; if you feel convicted now, start now! Ask that the Holy Spirit would give you grace to change your habits and seek to honor God in your romantic life. There is no reason to dwell on the past, and by God’s grace it is not too late to change.

Relationships and romance are tricky to navigate, but as Christians we have somewhere to run when we have no idea what to do, when we need comfort, when we need counsel. We have to be in tune with God and His Word every step of the way in order to navigate dating wisely and in a way that glorifies Him.

Next week, I’ll wrap up the series with one more post addressing singleness. Stay tuned!

What do you think? What are your convictions on this subject, and why? Share in the comments below! 

love, grace

 

Why I’m Not Dating in High School, part 3: Avoiding Drama and Temptation

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If you missed it: part 1 (God’s purpose for romance) and part 2 (God’s purpose for singleness)

When you think of teenage relationships, what comes to mind?

For me, it’s two-week long couples, messy breakups, ongoing drama, physical commitment without long-term stability…

Maybe you’ve had better experiences with young relationships; I’m sure there are some out there that survive or even thrive. But in my mind that’s the exception and not the rule.

I covered the biggest reasons I don’t date in those two previous posts; those are the overarching beliefs that guided my choice the most. But now that we’ve talked about the big things, there is one more reason I want to mention: the potential for drama and temptation in young romantic relationships.

Avoiding Drama and Heartbreak

Love will always come with intense and possibly very difficult emotion, and trying to struggle through that sort of thing in high school can wreak havoc on you. In this season of our lives, we are trying to make important decisions and balance a million demands on our time. Emotions are real, and they can be incapacitating.

Yes, I know that even if you wait until adulthood for a relationship, there is still no guarantee that everything will be sunshine and roses. In fact, it almost certainly won’t be. But having to work through emotional drama in the midst of teenage stress and hormones will do nothing to help you. 

It goes back to being stable in God before you pursue another person; you should be stable emotionally (really regardless of age) to get into a relationship. And the teen years are probably the worst place to look for emotional stability.

Plus personally, I would rather not introduce the potential for heartbreak earlier than necessary. Call me selfish, but I think the lack of drama in my life is a rather nice side effect of my decision not to date.

The point is: relationships are hard. Relationships aren’t always happy. And us teens aren’t in a good place to be able to deal well with that. We shouldn’t feel compelled to invest a lot of emotion into a relationship that may not last. 

Avoiding Temptation to Compromise

We are, without a doubt, called to purity as Christians, and will be much better off avoiding anything that could tempt us away from it. Dating is definitely one of those things.

Again, yes, dating at any stage of life will bring temptation with it. But again, as teens we are likely not yet fully stable in our emotions or our relationship with God, and out convictions may not be as developed, making us especially vulnerable.

And here’s the thing: if you are dating for no other reason than fun, you will be tempted to go too far. If your relationship has no long-term purpose, then you may feel that it has no point beyond the physical aspects and be even more likely to compromise.

This is the biggest argument I have against teenage dating, even when intentional. Unless you plan to get married within a few years, a relationship that stretches on and on will only become harder and harder to maintain in purity. For serious relationships that start in high school, marriage may not happen for five or ten years, and in that time you can become so comfortable with each other that purity doesn’t even seem like a big deal anymore. That is a bad place to be.

Even if you are both very committed to purity, humans are imperfect and can be very weak in moments of temptation. By avoiding dating in high school, you are avoiding any chance of doing something in a moment of emotional weakness that you will regret later on.

 

 

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts on this subject in the comments! (especially if you’ve actually been in a relationship, since I, ah, never have, hence the title)

love, grace

Coming soon: We’ll continue the series and address what to do if you’ve already done things you regret, how to respond if someone asks you out, and more.

Why I’m Not Dating in High School, part 2: God’s Purpose for Singleness

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As we talked about last week, Christians are called to pursue God’s model for romance and marriage, not that of the world.

But it goes beyond that. We are called to pursue God’s model for everything in our lives.

One of our main purposes in the teen years is to learn about how God wants us to live our lives, to develop a relationship with him and learn to lean on Him in everything. In this way we can grow into adults who are stable, grounded on a firm foundation that cannot be shaken.

We have to be careful not to be distracted from this calling. And that is the second reason why I have chosen not to date in high school.

What is the Purpose of Singleness?

If God wanted to, he could give all of us a romantic attachment right now. It’s not neglect on His part. You’re not waiting for someone to drop into your life and then everything will be complete. When we are single, God has a reason for it. 

Here’s what Paul says about that reason:

 “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.”

-1 Corinthians 7:32-34

Singleness is meant to be a time of growing as close to God as we can. It is a unique season of life when the only person we have an intimate commitment to is God, and so our focus should be on deepening that relationship, not waiting impatiently for someone else to come along. And in that growing intimacy, we are, in fact, preparing ourselves for an intimate relationship with another human.

The only way to be in a relationship that truly honors God is to be in a relationship with God first. If we rush into romance too soon, we will find that we are not as grounded as we thought we were and end up floundering, unable to find balance or fully show love to someone.

God gave us singleness so that we can learn what it feels like to serve Him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, what it feels like to live completely committed to God’s glory. Because if we are trying to learn those things at the same time as we are trying to learn how to love another person, one will have to take precedence over the other.

Additionally, we cannot search for happiness in human love. Before we become invested in a romance, we must be fully secure in God’s love for us that will never leave, enough so that we can hold onto that in the midst of a human relationship and still have it to hold on to if the relationship ends.

We cannot seek a relationship to fulfill us; it is only when we stop desiring a relationship above all else that it is really good for us to be in one. If we have not found true fulfillment in God, we will end up unsatisfied, searching for happiness in one romantic attachment after another.

Find happiness first, outside of romance, and only then will a romance actually make you happy.

What do you think? Do you agree with my second reason for not dating in high school? What other issues would you like to see addressed in this series? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace

 

Why I’m Not Dating in High School, part 1: God’s Purpose for Romance

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Going into high school, I had no strong convictions about dating. I was wavering on the edge of truth, trying to convince myself that it was okay to date, you know, as long as he was a Christian and we stayed pure.

Then I read a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It presented a new philosophy of romance for the Christian young person in a thoughtful, honest way, and I was convinced. While I don’t necessarily follow all of the specifics the book laid out, the principles led me to decide, purposefully, that I would not date at all during high school.

The question is debatable, and choosing not to date in a public-school atmosphere for four years is hard! But there are very good reasons for my decision and I want to share them with you in a series that will go through January and February.

We’ll start by looking at the most fundamental reason: God’s purpose for romance, dating, and marriage. To do that we have to go way back to the first married couple of the Bible.

What is the Purpose of Romance?

As we see in Genesis, God designed human beings for romance. His design of marriage was a lasting, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24), a design that was played out between Adam and Eve, the first husband and wife.

So what is the purpose of marriage? Primarily, to provide companionship. Eve was created so that Adam would have a helper, someone to live life with (Genesis 2:18). Humans are relational, and God gave us marriage as a way to have a deep relationship with one other person, a companion for us in the daily walk of life.

The other reason God created marriage is to have a model of His love for His people (Ephesians 5:25-26). The ideal loving, selfless relationship between husband and wife is the model for how much Christ loved us, that He came and died for our salvation. His love for us is pure, spotless, and beautiful.

Unfortunately, marriage has been marred by the fall in many ways, but the ultimate goal still stands, and as Christians we have the opportunity to pursue that goal despite the way the world has twisted it.

What is the Purpose of Dating?

With that foundation in mind, we can see more clearly the purpose of dating (or courting, if you choose to call it that). It is important to note that dating is a modern concept; there are many ways that people have found their spouse over the course of human history, some better than others, but there is not one perfect way to go about finding a husband or wife.

But that is what dating is: seeking a potential husband or wife. The goal of dating, courting, or whatever else you call it is to get to know someone better and see if they are the person God wants you to spend your life with in a marriage relationship.

Casual dating results in constantly giving your heart away to someone who is only in your life for a little while. We are called to date purposefully, seeking a partner in life, not for momentary fulfillment. Dating is not an end in itself; it is a means to a greater end. 

This is why I choose not to date in high school. I am not going to be ready for marriage anytime soon, and so getting involved in a relationship now would have no purpose to glorify God. All it would do is distract me, complicate my emotions, and add anxiety to my life.

Dating “just for fun” is not God’s best for us; we should always seek relationships intentionally, looking towards marriage and the future, and not just fun in the moment.

Have you been in a relationship before, and what wisdom can you share from that? Do you agree with me? Why or why not? Are you excited for this series? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace

God Is In Control (Even When the World Goes Mad)

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So there’s a little thing happening in just a few days that you might have heard about. 

It’s called the presidential election. 

If you are now crying, screaming, or running away to hide, this post is for you. 

When we look around at the brokenness of the world, we wonder why. We wonder why God would let things happen, things that are awful and seem to tear everything apart. We wonder why people and the world have to be so messed up.

Everywhere, there is hate and fear and arguing and misunderstanding and death and destruction and sin.

Sometimes it seems like God might have forgotten about us.

But we have to remember that no matter how it seems, He has not forgotten about us at all. 

He is still in control, over our lives and our country and our world and our galaxy and our universe.

No matter what happens, it cannot happen without Him allowing it to. That applies to this Tuesday, and whatever happens beyond. He is in control. 

We cannot understand God’s purposes, and we should not even try. All we need to know is that He promises to take care of us, and that sometimes God works through imperfect people. 

The Bible is full of examples. God doesn’t use only the flawless saint to do His work in the world. He can use the broken, the sinful, the arrogant and hotheaded and liberal.

And so, as Christians, we do not need to fear. We have a faith that will uphold us through whatever might happen with our country.

And so, if you can, vote on Tuesday according to whatever your conscience dictates. And whether you can vote or not, don’t panic or fear. Trust that God has everything under control. 

love, grace

More: God Bless America

Boundaries, Rebellion, and “Living on the Edge”

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In today’s culture, especially among teens, people often have the following attitude.

How much can I get away with before I get caught?

How disrespectful can I get before I get called out?

How far can I go before I wreck my life?

We won’t talk about how destructive this attitude is in general, as that’s a conversation for another day. What I want to talk about now is the problem that surfaces when we apply this attitude to our Christian life.

It’s a principal called maximal righteousness vs. minimal righteousness. 

(I’m not entirely sure where I heard this terminology for the first time. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make it up.)

The question for us, as Christians, should not be “How far can I go before it counts as sin?” This is only striving for minimal righteousness. 

Minimal righteousness is the kind of life that only seeks to know where the absolute limits are, to live on the edge between God’s standards and the world’s culture. In minimal righteousness, the only thing that matters is where the loopholes and the absolute boundary line are. And that is not how God calls us to live.

What is the alternative? Living a life of maximal righteousness. In maximal righteousness, the question is “How much can I live to glorify God?” To live a life of maximal righteousness is to live a life that seeks to glorify God in every way, to stay as far away from the edge as possible, to be completely separate from the world’s culture.

This applies to everything we do. I’ve heard it most applied to dating and purity (not “how far can we go?” but rather “how pure can we stay?”). It can apply to lots of other things as well: how you treat your family, friends, teachers, etc., how diligent you are at your schoolwork…

This is the righteousness that God calls us to.

It’s important to remember, though, that this does not mean striving for perfection on our own. What I’m talking about is the mindset we have as we go about our lives, not actually living our lives perfectly in maximal righteousness all the time.

Remember that we do not have to do this on our own: not cultivate the mindset, not live a perfect life, none of it. God works in us; without the Holy Spirit, we would be lost. Pray that God would help you to live in maximal righteousness, that he would change your heart and attitude.

Pray that He would enable you to reject the cultural rebellion of pushing boundaries and instead choose to go beyond what is required in order to do what is fully right.

love, grace

5 Ways to Stay Grounded in Truth This School Year

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On Wednesday we kicked off our back-to-school season here on the blog with How to Love School This Year. Today I want to continue with a related subject: how to deal with opposing cultures and viewpoints in school.

This post is geared more toward those who attend a public school, but it can also apply to any secular situation, from school to a job to an extracurricular activity or if you have friends who are unbelievers. Even if you go to a Christian school, you will be faced with situations where you are presented with lies, and we have to know where to turn when that happens.

Here are five strategies to help you stay grounded in the truth during this school year.

1. Remind yourself of the truth often.

Before we can defend truth, we have to know and understand it. And after we understand it, we have to continue to remind ourselves of it from day to day.

Reading God’s Word should be a daily foundation of our lives. It should be the first place we turn when we’re sad, upset, or searching for answers. The Word is Truth, and the only way we can know truth is by reading it regularly.

“The sum of Your Word is truth, and and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” -Psalm 119:160

This school year, make it a first priority to read and reflect on the Bible every single day.

2. Hang out with other people who believe the truth. 

Fellowship is an important aspect of the Christian life, and having strong Christians around you can make all the difference while dealing with a secular environment. Additionally, surrounding yourself completely with unbelievers can be dangerous; choose your friends wisely and make sure you have a good balance.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

When you have Christian friends, you can stand up for the truth together, and if one of you has doubts the others can pull them out of their doubts and help them stand up again. Even just having one or two like-minded people with you in school can make a huge difference.

This school year, choose to nurture the friendships that will help you grow spiritually and let go of the ones that hold you back.

3. Test everything you are told against the truth.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…” -1 John 4:1a

Especially in a secular school setting, you will have constant information coming your way, and not all of it will be true according to the Word of God. If you follow tip #1 and are reading the Bible every day, that will make it much easier to test what you hear according to what you have been reading.

Don’t accept everything blindly; think for yourself about issues and come to a decision that reflects God’s truth.

This school year, think hard about everything you are taught and test it under God’s lens.

4. Be ready to defend the truth boldly. 

Just as there are opposing viewpoints coming your way often, there will be occasions where you will have to explain your own opinion or get asked a question that leads into some deep religious conversation.

“…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. ” -1 Peter 3:15

Don’t shy away from this kind of conversation! Be prepared for it and seize the opportunity to share your faith and potentially convert someone to Christianity. If you are shy about witnessing, pray that God would give you boldness and trust that His Spirit will do great work through You when the opportunity comes.

This school year, boldly share the truth of the gospel with unbelievers in your path.

5. Don’t give in to doubts, but use them as a way to become stronger in truth. 

Doubting is an easy way to quickly derail your faith.

“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea who is driven and tossed by the wind.” -James 1:6

But if you start to doubt, that doesn’t mean that all is lost! Everyone has doubts at times, but we have to learn how to react to them in faith.

First of all, remember that feelings are not the truth. Feelings are real and can hurt a lot, but they do not represent the truth about the world around us. When doubt hits you, immediately turn to God instead of away. Ask that He would restore your faith and make a conscious choice to still trust Him even though your feelings would have you do otherwise.

Then, seek out the answers to your questions! Don’t just push your doubt to the back of your mind, but rather use it as an opportunity to strengthen your faith by learning more about God and finding the best answers you can to the questions you have. Spend serious time studying the Bible. Read books about the topic. Ask your pastor, your parents, or other knowledgeable people you know.

This school year, defeat doubt by seeking answers in God and trusting Him regardless of feelings.

 

There will always be challenges to our faith, no matter where our lives take us, but I hope these five tips help you to stay firmly grounded no matter what.

What do you think? Will these tips help you? Have you struggled with doubt or had your faith tested or questioned in the past? Share in the comments below! 

love, grace