5 Verses To Encourage Discipleship In College

5 Verses To Encourage Discipleship In College

My faith has given me energy and made my day more positive.
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Let's face it, college is hard and it's so incredibly confusing. It's this weird phase in your life where you're viewed as an adult but in many ways still treated like a child. We can vote and file taxes but no one wants to hear what we have to say about our political views or personal beliefs. You're constantly told that your opinion is invalid or wrong just because someone doesn't agree with you and it becomes very discouraging. Believe me, I know this first hand.

Picture this, you're having lunch with someone you know very well, hand out all the time, and view as one of your best friends. Then all of a sudden you find yourself crossing that line that no one seems to ever cross in college, you begin to talk about your faith and the love you have for Jesus Christ. As you're talking you notice the smile fade from your friends face, her eyes wandering, and her face begging you to change the subject. So what do you do at this point? You feel like you should change the subject but at the same time, you don't because as a Christian, you're called to make disciples.

I've made the decision to do both and let me tell you I will always regret the times I changed the subject but never the times I've continued to talk about my faith. I have met more genuine friends, accountability partners, and fellow believers than I ever imagined I would. Leaving the conversations where I changed the subject I would feel discouraged and tired afterward. The first time this happened I went back to my apartment, opened up my bible and read what it landed on. Well, it fell open on Proverbs 17 and to this day I know that the Lord was telling me something because Proverbs 17:22 says "A cheerful heart is a good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Wow. Talk about a slap in the face. I can honestly say that every conversation I have left talking about my faith has given me energy and made my day more positive.

Ever since that day I always lean on these verses to give me the strength and courage to always cross that line and never feel like I have to change the subject because someone doesn't want to hear what I have to say.

1. Philippians 1:6

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

2. Joshua 1:9

"....Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

3. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

4. Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

5. Colossians 3:23

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

So don't let the fact that there is that invisible line that no one ever seems to cross keep you from spreading the love of Jesus. After all, we can vote and file taxes like an adult so let's voice our personal beliefs just like an adult would.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

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My Faith Is What Sparked My Interested In Socialist Politics

Jesus abhorred the greedy and had an unprecedented amount of compassion, and that's why I'm a socialist.
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If you couldn’t tell by my name, I’m Irish, which also probably implies that I was raised Catholic. And indeed, I was. I was baptized, received the Eucharist and reconciliation, confirmed, and able to recite nearly every part of a typical Mass. Plus, I go to the largest Catholic university in the United States, DePaul University here in Chicago, a city with a rich history of Catholic Irishmen.

So, yeah, I guess you can say I’m the quasi-stereotype of the typical Catholic Irishman from Chicago, but one fact about me that isn’t that much of a stereotype, aside from that I’m more Chinese than Irish, is that I credit Catholicism for making me a socialist.

Before I go on, let me just say that if you don’t really know me, then that sentence seems shocking for the “socialist” part. But if you know my admiration for Bernie Sanders and his ability to bring socialism into mainstream politics, then you might be as equally as surprised, except more at the “Catholic” part.

The whole idea of Christ’s teachings ultimately reflects the meaning of socialism.

Socialism is the liberation of all oppressed peoples and the mass organizing of people to rightfully decide affairs that affect the population as a whole. It’s seen in many of the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not kill, not bear false witness against thy neighbor, and so on. It’s seen in the Beatitudes. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.” “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

It’s even seen in Jesus’s words. In Matthew 19:21, Jesus said: “If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”

Matthew 15:32 recalls Jesus as having “compassion on the multitude, because they continue with [him] now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.”

Though this is not to say that Jesus was a socialist, it is to say that for me, faith is important in my life because without it, I would not be as exposed to the damning inequalities of the world than I have been before.

We are seeing racism, classism, sexism, and all other forms of oppression bleeding into normalcy once again, all thanks to capitalists that abuse their power and exploit the working class for their own personal benefit.

Christ reflects on this evil in Mark 10:25: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

It is often the case where socialism, and even more left ideologies and religion do not get along. In fact, it is a religion that most people in socialist causes see as an evil in itself, for it gives opponents on the right a scapegoat for their evils.

I personally disagree that religion is the root of that evil. I believe that even though religion has caused many atrocities against humankind throughout history, it goes without saying that the words of Christ offer good incentives to support socialist politics and views of the like.

This is not me trying to convince you to convert to Christianity, but it is me pointing out that faith can be utilized for the good in a world in which it has been used for the bad.

Christ’s compassion, empathy, and call for others to stand up to injustice is something that all people should see as valuable advice. There is no logic in using the rhetoric of Christ to excuse behavior that has caused far too many people to be obliterated from the Earth. For as the Golden Rule states, “do unto others as you want to be treated.”

Cover Image Credit: Nina Stehl

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Conquered.

Project Israel: Part Two
Drew
Drew
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Conquered.

I am conquered.

My mind, heart, and soul are incense before you.

Placed on the altar, are all my actions.

There my head hits the floor, knees press the ground,

Do I dare look up at You?

So, I stare behind, shadow below.

O’ Light above,

Weighing down upon me.

I am conquered.

Battle in the Heavens!

I am servant to both armies!

I am a general for Lucifer, I am a prince of Christ!

Does this please you: fallen below?

Father Above?

Such a lost thought, back & forth, between Death and Life.

I am conquered.

Weaned, bent, twisted by my own hand?

O’ Sin, are you my master?

By God’s Grace, no!

Yet it was I who stripped You, we struck You!

Strip me, strike me!

You gave me keys to the kingdom.

I threw my heart to the fire.

O’ Sin,

I am yours—all of me.

All my wretchedness is yours.

I am con—No!

O’ Jesus!

I am yours—all of me.

All my wretchedness is yours!

Mercy Maker, Death Defiler, Grace Giver!

Cover me with all!

It is all far more than enough!

Victory is at hand!

I am conquered.

—Drew Seitz

Drew
Drew

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