Are human actions actually free, are they determined by God to do what he wants, or is the answer somewhere in the middle? This question of freedom came to me during a difficult final I was taking. As I sat there in that final I felt that all of my studying was for not and I was most likely going to receive a low mark anyway so why keep trying. I considered just closing up the final, handing it in, and hoping that I would just pass the class. Be assured however that I did not do this I pressed on and finished that final. However it did make me think about freedom and why God chose to give us this freedom. I think that because I wrestled with the aforementioned dilemma it is obvious that we do have freedom in some form. 

With the freedom that we have what should we do? There is both good and bad that can come from having freedom. Most of the time there is many options that we choose on a daily basis but all of the options usually boil down to two main conclusion, good or bad. In my final the good outcome was to continue, and the bad decision was to give up. The majority of the time the good outcome will be a harder outcome to go after in decisions that are important. This is where perseverance comes in. Perseverance is defined as steadfastness in completing a task despite any difficulty or length of time in achieving success. To me this embodies the college life experience, because it is a great length of time and a very hard task to complete. As Christians we need to persevere also and not be lackadaisical in life. Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” As men and women of Christ perseverance is a must because we are not ourselves but we are Christ. 

In closing, since we are free as Christians we must choose the life of perseverance daily not just a once in a while when it counts kind of thing, but a lifestyle of decisions that are hard and for the benefit of God. In college there is plenty of options to pick with good and bad consequences such as; to skip class just because I have skips to use, to not complete an assignment or not do it on time, to not study, to give up, to drop out, and many more that will lead to destruction of your college career. What you should do is when hard decisions come face them and pull through. Create a schedule to study and do homework so you don’t find yourself awake at four in the morning finishing a paper due at eight. Use your personal discernment and don’t bite off more than you can chew. All in all, use the freedom that God has placed upon you to do everything in a way which glorifies him, is beneficial to you, and causes something great in return.

~Jeff Simpson~
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