Should my faith be a priority when I’m paying $60,000 for a degree?

Aug 17, 2015 | Corey Porter

I never entered university thinking I would experience such a dramatic change.

My very first weeks of university were intimidating. I discovered my faith was weak and unproven. I fell hard for rampant myths that caused me to believe there was no place for my faith in university. I believed that I was there for one reason: to get a degree.

When I got connected to Power to Change, I realized I needed to evaluate my plans and purposes for being at university. I needed to make some tough decisions about my faith and about the path I was designing.

Priority 1: Gaining book knowledge or knowing Jesus?

questions of priority from picjumboWhen I shifted my primary focus from surviving to thriving, my whole purpose and priority for being at university changed.

In spite of the hostile environment to my faith, it was at university that I learned wholehearted dependence upon God in prayer and his word.

In a grace-filled community, I continually experienced God’s love and forgiveness. In this community I was shown the most care and respect I had ever known.

My confidence in God’s promises grew, even when the culture seemed stacked against it. In a community of missional people, I had increasing enthusiasm that we could take steps of faith, trusting God to change our campus. We witnessed God’s kingdom expanding and growing. My childhood view of Christianity morphed into a proven faith, matured by the many challenges brought against it.

Most importantly, knowing and loving Jesus became the priority of my life.

Priority 2: “Living it up” or building authentic relationships?

birthday partyIt was in university that I learned how to form authentic and honest relationships, in which we affirmed each other in the gospel.

My friends and I were able to prayerfully comfort one another in our trials, challenge each other in our commitment, and confess our sin to one another.

I found my place of belonging with like-minded friends who desired to experience the gospel and help others experience it as well. Loving people became the second priority of my life.

Priority 3. Preparing for my career or answering the call to mission?

Amazingly, God used Power to Change at university to form in me a heart to share my faith.

I learned the value of people: made in God’s image and paid for with the life of Christ. Though they were lost, harassed and helpless to save themselves, God loved them passionately. As I started to see through the facade, I learned my peers weren’t as confident or self-assured as I had once thought.

I was surprised to discover that God could use my story to bring hope and real change to those around me. Sure, I didn’t always get it right, but I began to learn how to engage my friends in gospel conversations and see the whole world with God’s eyes of compassion.

It was the start of what would soon become the most satisfying part of my life.

What will your education give you?

When I lifted my head up and began to evaluate my priorities, my decisions began to change.

My vision for the world became less about me and more about God’s love for people. I wanted to see all people mature in their faith in Jesus. Through training, dependence on God and experience, I developed more competence in sharing the gospel and taking steps of faith.

I am so thankful I took actions to grow my faith and make it my top priority.

Looking back, my decisions to prioritize God and his mission were the most fulfilling part of my university experience. I entered university unaware of the movement God was raising up to change the world. When I found it, I immersed myself in all the opportunities afforded me. The result? My time at university was fun, rich and life-changing. Perhaps what was even more profound; I found the purpose for my existence.

The totality of my being shifted to glorifying God by knowing him and making him known. The trajectory of my life changed. Each subsequent decision eventually influenced the person I married, the church I partnered with, the priorities I began supporting and the job I chose to invest my life in.

What about you? What will you prioritize when September hits? Will you set your face towards campus with determination and plans to live out God’s purposes? My prayer is that you will prioritize God and each and every decision will flow from there.

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About the Author

Corey Porter

Corey Porter writes creative content for university students on multiple digital domains. His voice has been tempered by twenty four years of ministry experience, both as student and staff. His personal life is kept full serving his wife Peggy and three children in Vancouver. He enjoys sport, art and collectibles.

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