In the previous section titled, “Talking about Faith,” we gave tips for how you can share the Gospel message to your friends. The second way that we can be a light on campus is by living in a manner that demonstrates the love and character of Christ. By nature, this stands out from the world around us and can even help to stir up conversations about Christ as discussed in the section above.
The Way of Life
Your teachers and friends will notice that you work hard. They will hear your uplifting speech. They will see your faith and appreciate your caring, thankful, forgiving, gracious, and honest personality, which comes from the Lord. However, be careful of doing things merely for the sake of appearances. Genuinely seek the Lord and strive to honor him through your words, attitudes, and actions. That alone will set you apart and may bring up gospel conversations.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24 NASB
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3 NASB
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 NASB
The Destruction of Sin
One thing that sets believers apart in the world is their desire to destroy the sin in their lives. The Bible is clear with us that we once wallowed in our sins, but now, since we are saved, we have the power through Christ to cast them far from us.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Colossians 3:5-10 NASB
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:22-26 NASB
Again, remember that:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB
And avoid putting yourself in the way of sin. When you do desire to sin, look for the escape. It is there.
The Pursuit of Holiness
Children of God are holy. This means that they are set apart for God’s purposes. As we strive to live out our faith, we ought to live holy. In other words, our lifestyles and choices should not look exactly the same as those of an unbeliever, but should reflect the character of God.
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:17-24 NASB
We should look to God as the answer in and for all circumstances. Again, when hard times come up, practice putting your trust in God. Let your life be marked by prayer and be confident in the good purposes of the God who controls all things.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34 NASB
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NASB
To glorify God! Give the Lord credit for your successes AND your failures. Turn compliments to praise of His name. Seek to honor Him though all things, thus shining as a light for His name.
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.
2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB
Note from Katherine
What do you think is the fastest way to be successful? Some people cheat and are dishonest so that they can be successful. Some people become consumed by work and no longer have time for the family and friends that surround them. Other people change their behavior so that they can fit in with others and become more successful. I’ve found out during my life that none of these methods work particularly well. They might help you in the beginning, but they cannot sustain you. The best way to become successful is to follow the example of Jesus Christ in the way you act. I have been given many different benefits and accolades in my life. I am often told that it is because people admire my maturity and the way I present myself. You might not always feel like you fit in when you are following Christ’s example, but I can guarantee you that the people around you are paying attention to the way you are acting. They will admire you.