Christians are not meant to walk an individualistic Christian life. Our companions become the determining factors of where we are and what we do. This is especially true for us, college students. Where our friends go is usually where we end up going. That is why Christians on Campus has emphasized the need for finding the right companions or circle of friends in college.
“But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.“
– 2 Timothy 2:22
The right companions will help us when we spiritually fall away. They are the ones who will bear our burden with us, encourage us to go on, and shepherd us back to the Lord Himself.
“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another one to lift him up!”
– Ecclesiastes 4:10
So here are the 6 lessons on how to build up Christian companions in college, based on the Bible:
Lesson 1: Accepting and appreciating the Lord’s arrangement (1 Corinthians 12:18; Romans 12:4-5)
God has placed the members in the body as He willed, and we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members of one another. God is the One who has placed us with the ones around us. We have to learn to accept and appreciate His arrangement, even if the ones around us are not that pleasant to be with, or not according to our liking.
Lesson 2: Putting aside natural preferences (Acts 13:1-2)
That means we can’t choose our companions based on our natural preferences. The Lord’s arrangement is His wisdom. Therefore, if we reject the ones whom the Lord has placed next to us, we actually reject the Lord’s wisdom in His grace for us. Take for instance, our roommate. It doesn’t matter whether our hobbies and personalities match or not; the Lord has placed that person as our roommate. We need to learn to put aside our natural preferences and learn to accept and appreciate that roommate.
Lesson 3: Learning to fellowship (1 John 1:3, 7)
Many times we are so private and closed. We are either too confident of our own strength or too ashamed of our incapability. To fellowship is to open to one another and ask for help. Even with our physical body, a healthy body has a healthy circulation of blood. That circulation typifies fellowship. Fellowship allows a healthy spiritual flow among the members of the Body of Christ as well, just like our thumb needs to receive the flow of blood from our palm.
Lesson 4: Bearing one another (Galatians 6:2; Colossians 3:13)
In today’s society, everybody only cares for themselves. However, in the Bible, the Lord specifically mentions that we need to bear one another’s burdens, and in this way we will fulfill the law of Christ completely. Moreover, we need to bear and forgive one another as the Lord has forgiven us.
Lesson 5: Developing a prayer life (Acts 3:1; 16:25)
While we are with our companions, we also need to pray together. Actually we have to learn to develop a prayer life together. The Lord says, “… if two of you are in harmony on earth concerning any matter for which they ask, it will be done for them from My Father who is in the heavens.” Surely, their asking in harmony is found in their prayer life. How else can we be in harmony?
Lesson 6: Bearing fruit in clusters (John 15:16, 5; Isaiah 65:8)
With our companions, we are enabled to respond to the Lord’s calling for us to go forth and bear fruit and that our fruit should remain. The Lord likens Himself to a vine tree. The grapes on the vine tree are found in clusters. So on one hand, our companions and we are these clusters. On the other hand, as clusters we can then go forth and bear more clusters of fruit for the Lord. Isaiah 65:8 says, “Thus says Jehovah, As the new wine is found in the cluster, And someone says, Do not destroy it, For there is blessing in it…”
Finally, building up companions in this way will truly re-vitalize our Christian life, especially as young Christians on the college campuses. Alone, we are not able to stand against the tide of the worldly age. Together, we are like the “threefold cord” that is “not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says,
“And while a man may prevail against the one, the two will withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”