A Word for Freshman
College is a time of change. Students have newfound freedom and newfound responsibilities. New people are met, new experiences are had, and new beliefs are formed. All college students have to answer a fundamental question: “In light of this freedom, how now shall I live?” For the Christian student, college can be a time of great growth. The freedom and responsibilities can catalyze maturity in Christ. The key is godly, biblical wisdom.
Sammy Rhodes gave six great pieces of wisdom on the blog, Desiring God. Rhodes is a campus minister for Reformed University Fellowship at the University of South Carolina. He has spent the last eight years of his life helping college students answer the question “How now shall I live?” by guiding them to the gospel of Jesus Christ. His blog is not only applicable to college students, but all Christians. You should read it. Right now.
1. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is learn.
2. Community isn’t optional; it’s essential.
3. Committing yourself to a local church is vital.
4. Love your roommates until you love your roommates.
5. Stop looking for a soul mate and look for a sole mate instead.
6. Your brokenness isn’t a barrier to Jesus, but an invitation.
All six points are rich, but two of them really struck me. College has been the period of my life where I have discovered that “committing yourself to a local church is vital.” If you are united to Christ by faith (Romans 6:5), then you united to His body – the church. If you love Christ, you love His bride – the church. Practically, being part of “the wise, diverse, multi-generational, pastor-led community of the local church” has changed everything about my life. It has killed selfishness, given purpose, and enhanced joy. God loves to work through and for the local church, and I am eager to see college students experience the joy of throwing yourself into the church.
Secondly, Rhodes’ last point struck a deep chord within my soul. If I have discovered anything in college, it is that I am broken. College has revealed my sinful nature and my need for a Savior. Tim Keller once said, “we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time.” That is the good news that is extended to every single college student in the world. You are broken and wicked. We all are. But God has loved us so much that He sent His only son to die for us, take our sins upon Himself, and make us alive in Him. My prayer for you is that your brokenness would drive you to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.