Some thoughts ahead of university
I’m told that University is a unique time in life. Never again will I live in such close proximity to so many people I’ve not met before. Never again will I be surrounded, every day, by people almost exclusively of my age and stage. And with that comes a unique opportunity. An exciting opportunity.
I am convinced that everyone’s biggest need is to be forgiven by God [Romans 3:23]. I am also convinced that the only way people can be forgiven by God is by trusting Jesus’ death to turn aside their deserved punishment [Romans 8:1].
If I really am convinced of this, how much will that change my friendships? (How much should it change yours too?) I need to be intentional about telling people the Good News of Jesus- it is truly life changing. I am conscious of how little I managed this at secondary school and hope be a better witness to friends at university- it is a unique opportunity.
But that is not the only way the Gospel ought to influence our friendships. Jesus tells us to love our neighbours as ourselves [Mark 12:31]. That is huge. Jesus knows how much we love ourselves. In my friendships then, I need to love others. This might look like patience, kindness, forgiveness or generosity. Essentially I need to live the gospel as well as tell the gospel. That is to say, I should be showing others how great Jesus is, how much I love him, and how thankful I am to him by how I live. Ideas as to how I can do that would be a great help.
Please pray that God would be preparing the hearts of those I will meet at university. Pray that I would find good Christian friends to support me and show me more of Christ. Please also pray that God would use me to expand his Kingdom in Sheffield. Especially pray that God would help me not to be prideful, and that I’d want Jesus to receive all glory.
I will be on a 3 year course studying Economics and Politics.
I find both subjects interesting (usually) and challenging and I am looking forward to having such a variety of aspects to my degree including comparing theory (political and economic) to reality; current affairs; written argument and maths.
I will have to work hard, both because university is not meant to be a walk in the park (and I am not a natural whizz) and because as a Christian I ought to work hard. Paul writes to the Corinthians “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” [1 Cor 10:31] I have no doubt that Paul would have included university education in the category of whatever you do and therefore I ought to work hard at my university education. Rather more countercultural though, is that I should do this for the glory of God- and him alone!
I expect that will be the least of my countercultural behaviour however, as a Christian who seeks to have his worldview reformed and refined by God’s word, in this ever more secular society.
Please therefore pray that I will be faithful and loving in my inevitable disagreements and that I would work hard and well to the glory of God, seeking to show others how great he is, by how I study. Again, pointers from wiser Christians would be happily received.
Overall, I am excited and looking forward to going to university and I am very grateful to God for how he has taught me here in Harold Wood, and for all the godly people I have been able to learn from. It has truly been invaluable preparation for me.
I am wondering whether to start writing a prayer letter, in order to keep my brothers and sisters far and near ‘in the know’ about how to pray for me while I am at university (and beyond!). If you would be interested in receiving such a letter please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week: Home is where the heart is
Next week: A conversion story...