The SENT initiative has officially kicked off, and we are almost three weeks into summer projects, including the one that I am participating in—City Life! City Life is an opportunity for college students to gain valuable, real-life experience through jobs and internships in their respective career fields while also learning how to integrate faith and work. Throughout the summer we learn to view the workplace as a mission field for sharing the gospel.
If I’m being honest, in the weeks leading up to City Life, I was interested in figuring out how to serve the Lord in my long-term career goals but was unsure how the forums and labs would be applicable to my summer jobs and life as a student. Luckily, it only took about a week for the Lord to convict me of those expectations and reveal that this summer would be one of immense personal growth and strengthening my relationship with him.
Emotions and Knowledge
One of the most important things that I have learned thus far from City Life is that Christianity is a total truth not just a value. Society defines Christianity as a value. But if we instead view it as a total truth, we can better share this truth with others.
We were given a few different books to read over the duration of the summer, and one quote in particular stuck out to me, “I knew instinctively that an emotional experience was not enough. I wanted to build my life on the conviction of truth” (Saving Leonardo). Much of my relationship with God and time in the church had been built purely on emotional experiences, and this was leading me to avoid gospel conversations with others.
Personally, I was afraid that if someone asked me hard questions about my beliefs and my answers were too grounded in emotion, they would dismiss both my beliefs and Christianity, regarding them as personal preferences rather than total truth. Now, I am learning the importance of having a balance between emotions and knowledge.
A relationship with God based purely on emotions, with which I am very familiar, can lead to drastic mood swings and wavering confidence when faced with struggles and questions. On the other hand, a relationship that only consists of theology can reveal more about God’s miraculous works and character but may not lead to doing good works out of genuine love for the Lord.
Freed to Share
This might not seem like it has a lot to do with work, but part of living the Christian life is viewing everything through the lens of the gospel. This means that our work is not separate from our faith or any other aspect of life. This means that God can use me in any job, not just a long-term career or a career that involves working for a church.
Knowing that Christianity is a total truth rather than a fact or value frees me to share this truth with others confidently, even in my place of work.
– Bella Whitehead (City Life participant)