Vulnerable Campus life; Handle with holiness
“Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour; because it is written,
‘You shall be holy, for I am holy” (I Pet. 1:15‐16).
What is Holiness?
The biblical definition of “holiness”:
The basic Old Testament Hebrew word for “holy”, as an adjective, is, , qadoˉs. The noun form describes “holiness” while the verb form means “to sanctify.” The root meaning in the Old Testament is that of “purity which is set apart from impurity,”
In the New Testament, the parallel word is ἅγιος, hagios, which, via the Greek language, heavily draws upon the Hebrew concept, and thus has the closely related meaning of “moral purity, sanctity, consecration, veneration”.
What does Holiness means to a Christian?
Holiness means we have God’s standard of righteousness. The Bible reveals it as “Be holy, for I [the LORD your God] am holy.” (Lev. 11:44; cf. I Pet. 1:15‐16). “You shall be blameless before the Lord your God” (Deut. 18:13). Holiness also means the Christian is set apart from that which is alien to the moral character of God. “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1). “Now flee from youthful lusts” (II Tim. 2:22a). Also the Christian is set apart unto that which is in harmony with the moral character of God, this being positive holiness. Having been saved by “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 1:16‐17; 3:21‐26), the Christian will have an inclination to live “sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Tit. 2:13). “Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you [Israel] apart from the peoples to be mine” (Lev. 20:26); “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness” (I Tim 6:11; cf. II Tim. 2:22b).
The campus we have today:
Today we live in times when Godly standards are mocked upon. The ‘chalta hai’ attitude of compromise has held fast the campus inmates. Many innocent students enter the campus with all good standards. But by the time they leave the campus they are completely stripped off from their moral codes and conducts. I was surprised when one of my friends told that more than medicines condoms are sold in a medical store near a renowned Christian deemed University in our nation. I was shocked when one of my students told me that his roommate cannot sleep without drugs (intake as liquid or injection or smelling). Students who held not to smoke as their values start smoking, students who did not know what it means to take drugs become addicts to it during their stay in campus. Another evil that is prevailing in campuses is pornography. Nobody knows what is going. But many students live and die with the guilt of this evil. With the advent of High court verdict that permits gay sex many homosexual and lesbian relationships are going in the campuses. Another vice we see is pre marital sex and live in relationship that is opposed to Biblical standards.
Apart from these there are lot of unholy activities that go on which are directly related to the educational system. Today students do not give very much importance to their projects or researches. Instead of working hard they copy from other works (what is known as plagiarism) and present it as their own work. Another unholy activity which is known to all is cheating in examinations.
What does Holiness means to the inmate of campus:
The times we live is not at all conducive to live a Holy life as I explained above. But then God expects us to live a Holy life in all walks of life. What I primarily mean by living a Holy life is, (as explained above) having a life with Godly standard and abstaining from all defilement of flesh and spirit. It also means we have a holy standard in what we watch, what we speak, the way we relate to our friends, elders, relatives, teachers, etc, and having a holy standard in fulfilling our responsibilities (as a student or lecturer or so on,
How to deal with unholy lifestyle in campus:
Being God conscious: We have an excellent example of Joseph in Genesis where he was given an opportunity to sin but He could overcome it. The key reason is He was God conscious. “…How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Gen 39:9
Reflecting on Holiness of God: In Isaiah 6th chapter we find Isaiah encountering God’s Holiness. At that instant He was cleansed from His sins. Reflecting on God’s holiness helps one to know his sins and take right measures.
Being strong in God’s Word: Being strong in the Word of God is a key to live a Holy life. In Psal 119:1 the psalmist says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” When we saturate our minds with that of God’s word when we are about to enter into temptation we will rightly hear a voice which will stop us from sinning. We can also remember the ways Lord Jesus dealt with temptation when He was tempted by satan
Being in a strong fellowship: Being in a fellowship is key to overcome sin. One of the important aspects of fellowship is helping one another. Heb 10:24, 29 says “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” .
Personal sharing: Having a prayer partner with whom we can share our struggles (provided the other person is ready to keep them confidently) helps us to live a holy life in campus. Being a mentee is one of the important aspects senior people can consider to guide junior students in living a holy life. Ecc 4:9 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.”
Having healthy relationship with opposite sex: We should have a healthy relationship with our friends of opposite sex. We should hold on to Biblical values as key even when we have different cultural values. Matthew 5:27-28 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This applies to the male folks as well. We have to behave with our opposite sex with holy eyes. Each member of the opposite sex deserves respect. Bible also says “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” I tim 5:1,2
Practical tips in Dealing with pornography:
Pornography is the vice that is killing lakhs of students. Christians are no exception. Your friend or any other person may not know about this but you may be burning with guilt and shame inside being unable to come out of this addiction.
Why porn is so compelling?
The thirsts we have when unfulfilled takes us to pornography. Making a list of thirst of one’s soul helps one to understand what triggers one to pornography. Some of the thirsts may be :
• Attention—I long for people to like me. I long for your embrace.
• Affection—I long to be enjoyed. I long to be delighted in. I long for you to take pleasure in who I am.
• Affirmation—I long to know I have what it takes. I long for your blessing.
• Acceptance—I long to belong. I long to be desired.
• Satisfaction—I long for fullness. I long for well-being.
• Significance—I long for impact. I long for meaning. I long to be powerful.
• Security—I long to know I will be okay.
Lust is also the outcome of our disordered desires or failures or brokenness we encountered. Especially irritation, loneliness, reminiscence of the deception you encountered, failed love relationship, etc can lead you to pornography.
How to overcome pornography?
- Have exclusive fasting and prayer continuously to come out of this evil.
- Delete all porn material you have in any form (book, cd, search history, etc).
- Identify your triggers (some brokenness, unfulfilled desire or some affection) which lead you to pornography. Having identified your triggers try to find what other way can these needs be met.
- Identify some of the circumstances that lead you to pornography. One example may be seeing an attractive wall poster.
- Do not browse when you are alone or in your private room. Have limited data pack. Write the objectives and work to do with a time limit before sitting to browse. Do not delete search history.
- If needed install softwares that filters porn. K9 security is one good software to filter porn. You can also use accountability software covenant eyes. Both have powerful free versions as well.
Remember sometimes you may have a relapse. Don’t worry fight again. Have a accountability partner and share with him. In a course of time with prayer God will help you to overcome.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
Holiness in relation to ones education:
It is very important as believers to have Godly standards in all aspects of our education as well. The way we do our projects, term papers, class tests, assignments, examinations, home works, etc should show to others that Christian students will have a holy attitude in academic aspects as well. In Isaiah and Jeremiah and in many of the minor prophets we find people reap the punishment for wrong standards. God expects Godly standard in the way we relate to our educational system. Same applies to working inmates of campus as well. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. Bile also says “…approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:10-11
God the holy one who is praised “Holy, Holy, Holy” by the angels want the citizens of the Kingdom of God to have Godly standards and shun from what is evil. This holiness is to be reflected in all aspects of our life. When Daniel was taken to a new situation (a new campus indeed!) he decided not to defile himself. Can we also take this stand as we stay in our respective campuses?
“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” Daniel 1:8
 Adapted from the book Surfing for God written by Michael John Cusick. Thomas Nelson, Inc publication 2012.