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.

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.

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Yes, I'm An Atheist, But Please Say Bless You Still When I sneeze

Don't try to convert me, but I'd appreciate a "bless you" after I sneeze.

During my first week of college, I casually mentioned that I was an atheist to one of my new friends. She, with all seriousness, asked me if I would be offended if she said bless you. I promised her I would not, and we shared some laughs.

Although it was a funny encounter, it made me realize all the misconceptions christians tend to have about atheism. A lot of students at Butler grew up in small towns where Chrstianity was the only thing taught, so I've had to explain myself a few times after this first encounter. I don't blame anyone, I don't really understand Christianity. I tend to mix up Jesus and Moses (one walked on water, one parted water, but don't ask me which guy did which).

So let's clear some things up.

First, please say bless you. I understand that technically you're inferring "God bless you" but nowadays it's just freaking common courtesy. I say bless you any time I hear someone sneeze. I'll be more offended if you don't say bless you. If someone does get mad at you for saying bless you because "you're pushing their religion on them", push them off their high horse. Please don't try to convert me, but you can say bless you or talk about your faith with me.

Second, I'm not an arrogant asshole. Well I might be, but it has nothing to do with my lack of religion. Some people say it's arrogant to be an atheist because that means I think a lot of people are wrong. But I only believe in one less religion than you. There are thousands of religions (especially if you break them down into different denominations) and you (I assume) only believe in one. I just believe in one less. If you are a catholic, then you believe protestants, Jews, Muslims, and etc. are all wrong. Is it so crazy to think that none of us are capable of figuring "everything" out?

Third, I don't hate religion. I actually love religion. I love studying it. I've been to a church, a synagogue, a Hindu temple, and a Buddhist zen center. I love studying religion and I think the range of faiths that people have are very interesting. I just don't personally believe in any of them.

But yes, I don't believe in God or any afterlife. I'm pretty positive that when we die, we just stop existing. I mean your body is probably still there, decomposing, but your personality and memories are gone, because your neurons aren't firing anymore.

I could write an entire article just about why I am an atheist, but that isn't my point today. What I am trying to say is that I'm just as valid as you are. Why is the norm in our society to believe in such a complex story? Why is it that Christianity is just accepted but atheism is wild? It takes effort and choice to believe in something, like God and Jesus. So why is it so crazy that I haven't done that?

I respect religion, I think it's a great thing. When people tell me they're a christian (which nobody really does because we all just assume everyone in America is unless they're wearing a hijab or holding a menorah), I don't try to change their mind or convince them God isn't real. So please, let me be a heathen in peace. If you're right and I'm wrong, you can say I told you so in the afterlife.

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