For the past eighteen months I have been leading an incredible high school small group every other Monday night. This fall we are heading into our last year together as the majority of our group is (hopefully) graduating high school in June.
As I’ve been praying and reflecting about our group this month in preparation for this fall I started feeling anxious and worried about only having a short time left with these awesome young people. There are so many things I want to pass on to them that I wish I had done differently.
I absolutely love getting to be a monthly contributor for JoyPedrow.com. She is running an incredible ministry for college women and I am super blessed to be a part of it. You can read the post on her blog here or scroll down to read below:
4 Lies College Students Believe
As a senior parading through the halls of Neil A. Armstrong High School, there was a skip in my step and a giggle in my heart. I had discovered my “Cheers” like home in the music and theater wing where I was loved, supported, and everyone knew my name. My life-changing choir teachers labeled me the “B.M.O.C.” (Big Man on Campus) and, while the struggles of every 17 year-old still permeated, life was beautiful.
As a college freshman hacking through the jungle of campus life at a small liberal arts college, there was a hesitation in my step and heaviness in my heart. Three hours away from my support system and foundation, I forgot who I was and what I believed. I wandered away from God (as many college students do), giving him the occasional passing glance as I partied and “lived it up”. I regret so much of that time. As I look back, I discovered four BIG lies that penetrated my relationship with God.
Lie: God doesn’t care about me.
Truth: God cares about every single detail of my life.
God wants what is best for you in every situation. In middle of every test or terrible work shift, when you are stressed beyond the breaking point and cannot form coherent sentences, God is there. God cares about the mundane details of our life.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NIV) “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 (NIV)
Lie: There is one “type” of Christian who never makes mistakes and who is better than everyone else.
Truth: God loves his people, all of them. God celebrates when ANYONE chooses to love him and move towards him.
During my freshman Intro to Bible class there was a group of “serious” Christians who radiated with their “holier than thou” persona. They were socially awkward and never put their hands down for the entire semester. That must be the kind of person God wanted, not the messed up kid slouching in the back row. The truth is God loves everyone for exactly who they are whether they have read every page of the Bible or not.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Proverbs 8:17 (NIV)
Lie: If I try ___________________ (partying, drinking, smoking, sex, pornography) I will feel fully alive and love my life.
Truth: No chemical, sexual activity, relationship, addiction, will ever bring you Life.
Like so many college students, I found myself caught up in the party scene because I thought that’s what everyone did. Yes, there were nights when it was fun to feel reckless and out of control and to forget all the chaos of my world, but the truth is I was trying to fill a void in my life.
Nothing will fill the emptiness except an on-going relationship with God. Believe me, I’ve tried all of them. God didn’t tell us not to do these things because he doesn’t want us to enjoy life; it’s completely the opposite. He wants you to have an amazing life filled with beauty and honor. That is the life waiting for you and it is infinitely better than anything this world has to offer.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Lie: I’ve wandered too far to ever come home to God. I need to clean my life up before I can go back to my Savior.
Truth: We can turn our lives around at any moment. God never stops pursuing us and never gives up on us. Nothing you ever do will separate us from his love.
In the lowest moments of my college years I thought I had messed up so much that God would never take me back. I thought I had to turn my life around on my own before I could be worthy of his love again and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19 (NIV) “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (NIV)
Whether you are feeling great or struggling beyond belief, take one step today towards a life with God. Step into a church. Find someone to have coffee with and talk about the hardest parts of your existence. Listen to some inspiring Christian Music Playlists. Find some awesome blogs to subscribe to and keep you thinking about God (wink, wink).
Walking with God isn’t easy, especially in college when temptations are everywhere, but you are a strong, incredible child of God who was made to thrive and soar above everything this world throws in your way.
Create a plan to hold yourself accountable to the person you want to be. Choose to participate in things that give you life and allow you to love every detail of your world. Rise above my friend. Don’t ever let the enemy tell you lies about who God is.
Decide to chase the truth for that is the single greatest thing you can ever do.
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