January 20, 2021
I’ve had this question at the back of my mind when someone told me that I could make an impact in society as a student. Back then, all I knew is that I was an average student who was trying to juggle my time for rest, schoolwork, and social life. I never thought that my life could be an instrument for change.
In fact, I thought that going with the flow is what we are destined to do, molded by what’s normal in the world and dictated by what’s easy and convenient. So when asked if I can really be a catalyst of change, hesitations and doubts overflowed from my heart.
But all of a sudden, everything shifted when I was faced with a situation that forced me to make a choice just like everybody else. I was on the verge of choosing whether to compromise or stand on my convictions. While it is easy to choose what the majority have chosen, I was left with the question, “Will I honor God here?”
This is when I realized that change could actually happen when one chooses to do what is right. It is possible to make an impact even through the smallest decisions we make in life.
In the coming days, students will face yet another load of assignments, modules, and performance tasks. While others are excellently coping with the new normal, many are having difficulties in their studies, so much so that some would rather settle for less or cheat their way through the semester just to pass their subjects.
As God’s people, we need to make a choice: to guard our integrity or to compromise our convictions.
Guarding your integrity means maintaining strong moral principles and not being shaken by circumstances. Our values fuel our principles and convictions, which are usually tested during compromising situations.
While going with the flow is so much easier than going against it, we are actually being called by God, even as young as we are, to set an example to others.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
Why is it important to guard our integrity?
Having integrity helps us make wise decisions.
Upholding your integrity gives us more opportunities to lead and positively influence people. Practicing integrity leads you towards God-honoring decisions in every season or area of our lives.
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
God is glorified when our lives reflect who He is. He is pleased when His people are living uprightly—showing Christlikesness in whatever they do. God doesn’t want us to conform to the patterns of this world, but He desires transformation in us, focused on godly principles and right thinking.
How can we guard our integrity?
Here are some practical tips for when your integrity is tested.
1. Set your convictions.
Crises and difficult times only reveal our character and deep-seated convictions. Therefore, it is important that our convictions, beliefs, and values are clear, so that when testing comes, we would know where to stand and how to respond.
2. Allow people to check on you.
Wise and godly friends come in handy to help us guard our convictions whenever we’re faced with a potentially compromising situation. These people will help us make right choices during difficult times and will remind us not to conform, but to be Christlike in every way.
For example, you may message these people before taking an exam, so they can pray for you and remind you to do the right thing.
3. Be diligent in your studies.
Temptations usually arise when we come to class unprepared and the easy way out, such as cheating, feels like the best solution. Hence, doing your own due diligence to study prevents you from being tempted to cheat.
Changing the world doesn’t just mean doing extraordinary things. It usually starts with the small things we do, which could echo for the rest of our lives.
Remember: Our values and convictions, coupled with God’s power and grace, can create a significant ripple effect that could eventually change society.
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