Hello! Welcome to Episode 10 of the Faith Chase Podcast. I’m Heather Tabata, and this podcast is about making faith real in everyday life. Today we’re starting on a series especially for college, but the ideas apply to any point of life we’re in. This week we’ll be talking about knowing yourself. (If you landed here on the blog and want to hear the post instead of reading the transcript, click here.)
You’ve grown up with yourself, so shouldn’t you know you? And you do, but maybe not as well as you can. If you’re planning on starting college, or switching schools, or starting a new job, you’ll be around a lot of new people. Until now, you’ve gotten used to who you are around the friends you have and people you know at school and work.
If you’re starting college or a new phase in your life, your environment is going to change. So if you want to reinvent yourself, now is a good time to do that. But it’s important to decide now what’s important to you about yourself. You can use this transition as a springboard to focus on the positive aspects and work on the negative traits.
Know Your Faith
Take a second and answer for yourself what role faith plays in your life. You don’t have to share it with me, your parents, or your minister, and God already knows, so be totally honest. Put it in words. Hit pause if you want.
How is your faith doing? Are you just finding it? Have you been working on it for years? Are you a Christian, or are you not ready to make that commitment?
Faith is something all Christians grow in, so if yours isn’t where you want it to be, it’s okay. Maybe you’re just realizing it. If so, now is a great time to work on it. If you have questions about it or are scared about where you are, visit with God. Talk to Him. Read the Bible for yourself and own your growth. Talk to the people in your life who share your faith – parents, friends at church, or a preacher. Going it alone or just need a fresh set of ears? Reach out to me. You can contact me through my website in the Contact tab of the menu or click here.
The reason we need to start with faith is, at your core, there’s going to be a single aspect of you that informs all your choices. The decisions you make, attitudes you have, your thoughts, plans, and your relationships. More than all the other parts of you, this one thing drives you. Sure, it’s not the only thing. Your other values and experiences change how you relate to the world too, but at your core one is going to be the most important.
If your deepest identity is based on your faith, and your faith is based on God, then you have a solid, never changing foundation to create your best version of you. Faith will grow and deepen, you’ll learn more about it, but you’ll always have a God center to count on.
Decide now, before your big change comes, what you believe. Otherwise, when you meet people who want you to believe a certain way, it’ll be even harder to be true to yourself. Start with the basics and work your way from there. Square one is believing in God, knowing that He is good, and that the Bible is true. If you feel like you need to bulk up here first, I’d recommend two things.
First, keep studying the Bible. Know what God says about Himself so you can understand where He is coming from. Second, study apologetics, which means evidence about the Bible’s claims. Apologetics is more than just saying, read the Bible and believe it because it’s true. It’s the why. A good place to start is with Apologetics Press. They have a ton of free information about the hard stuff on their website (you can check it out here).
If you’re ready for the next step, think about how your faith plays out in your life. It’s kind of like a plant. Once the seed is growing, you can’t just let it sit and expect it to turn into a tree. You have to take care of it. Faith needs regular, individual Bible reading, prayer, study with the church, and spending time with other Christians. Decide up front that these are going to be a priority. Start now with that, and when you’re building new routines, make sure these are in there from the get go, otherwise it’s easy to leave them behind.
Know Your Values
Once your faith is in place, it can help define what your values are. What’s important to you? Think about honesty, loyalty, responsibility, kindness, and all the other things we learned in kindergarten. Commit to them now, because they’re going to be tested.
Having faith helps us know what is right and wrong. It teaches us we should stand up for people who are being bullied. It teaches us we shouldn’t take drugs. But sometimes knowing it and living it are two different things. It’s easy to sit in Sunday school and say with the rest of the class that you wouldn’t do drugs.
But imagine it’s your first Friday night at college. You’re sitting in a friend’s dorm or apartment about to watch a movie. Your room mate you’re just getting to know who seems pretty cool is there. So is that guy from English you’re trying to find an excuse to talk to. You brought popcorn for everyone, and it feels like they’re accepting you.
Then somebody is smoking marijuana. And they’re sharing it with some of the other people. What do you do?
Maybe they’ll tell you it’s not addictive, or it won’t hurt you, or nobody will be able to tell. It’ll sound convincing.
It’ll be hard to say no. Probably not so much because you want to try it, but because what is everybody going to think about you if you don’t? You’ll be the stick-in-the-mud. The Stiff, if you’re a Divergent fan.
You know what? That’s okay. Because you know who you are, and if they don’t respect you, then they wouldn’t be good friends for you. If you’ve decided for yourself that you absolutely aren’t going to try any kind of drug, it’ll be a lot easier to turn them down. Because if you don’t, you’re breaking a promise to yourself, and if you don’t have self-respect it doesn’t matter how many people think you’re cool, because you won’t be happy with yourself.
Know Who You Are
Besides your faith and values, there’s your personality and interests. Being a Christian will influence these, but they’re more individualized.
How we act has a lot to do with our faith. We’re supposed to be patient, kind, humble, and helpful. We need to be outgoing enough to tell people about God and how He loves us.
That’s it for this episode! Thanks for joining in. Head over to Instagram, Facebook, or chime in here on the website and let me know your thoughts on this episode. What stood out to you? What questions do you have? If you want to stay up to date on events and get a little regular pick-me-up, you can sign up for my newsletter by clicking right here. If you’re enjoying the podcast, don’t forget to subscribe so the next episode can come straight to you, and tell a friend about it. See you next week!