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Growing Closer to God as a Christian

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Georgia Southern chapter.

I was raised learning about God my entire life. My parents enrolled me in a small private Christian school in Illinois. I attended this school from Pre-K 4 to 8th grade. The teachers were like god-parents to me in a way, they raised me for a decade and really laid the foundation for my faith. At this school, we read the Bible, had devotion, memorized scriptures, memorized the Books of the Bible, prayed, said grace. My family and I didn’t start attending church regularly until I was eleven. 

After I graduated I attended a public high school, this was very different because I was now with a diverse group of people who believe different things. A year later, we moved to Georgia and I attended another public high school. Throughout high school, I really realized I didn’t have a true personal relationship with God. All my life I was just doing what I was told. I didn’t read the Bible for myself or attend church for myself. Honestly, I thought reading the Bible was hard to understand, and at times boring. To this day, I go back and forth with putting my relationship with God first. By that, I mean praying, reading, watching sermons etc. and then going weeks or even months without acknowledging God, unless something bad happened or I needed something — that is not a relationship. 

A relationship takes work and effort. For example, you can’t expect to grow a better relationship with your friends or significant other by only talking to them when you need something and then ignoring them for months. That’s why it can be hard to wrap my head around how patient, forgiving, and merciful God is, because I don’t deserve that and I didn’t earn that…it’s a gift. He knows we aren’t perfect and doesn’t expect us to be, just to have faith. “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him,” Hebrews 11:6. It’s not about praying for hours, trying to not do this or that, attending church every Sunday, or reading the Bible for hours a day. It’s not about rules, it’s about letting God work through you. So, as I share advice about how to grow closer to God with you, I am writing this for myself as well. 1. Read the Bible

Read on your own time, whenever you want, for however long you want. Pray that God helps you understand what you are reading and try to apply what you read to your life. Meditate on what you are reading so that it can stick, because if you just read and then forget all about what you read you’ll never be able to learn lessons, remind yourself of what God said about a certain thing, and truly see a change in yourself. If you are a beginner, try reading a version of the Bible that is easy to understand such as: New International Version, New Living Translation, Amplified, or English Standard Version. You can use a study Bible, glossary, or devotional as well to help you understand things. 2. Watch/Listen to Sermons

You can hear sermons at church or watch them online, or however you want. However, if you don’t have time to read for yourself, listening to sermons can help. Joyce Myers, Joseph Prince, Steven Furtick, Michael Todd, and John Gray are some pastors you can watch online. There are many others you can watch, just find who you like. 3. Listen to Worship Music

You don’t have to listen to Christian or Gospel music if you don’t want to or if you just don’t like it, but it can help you keep your mind on God and on positive things listening to music that has a good message behind it. There’s nothing wrong with listening to secular music, but if you ever feel convicted to not listen to certain songs or artists that’s ok. I advise to just to be careful with what you allow yourself to listen to or watch, because it can have an effect on how you think, speak, or act. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” Philippians 4:8. 4. Pray

You do not have to pray for hours using big words or anything.  You don’t have to close your eyes and bow your head if you don’t want to. You can pray throughout the day at any moment if you wanted. There are no rules, just talk to God like you would a friend. Have a conversation with him about how you feel, what you’re thankful for, what you may need, what you may be concerned about or anything you want to tell Him. 5. Surround Yourself with People 

You can join a Bible study group on campus. There are so many and they are easy to find on Georgia Southern’s MyInvolvement site. Surrounding yourself with people who also want to grow their relationship with God can help you because you can get advice, study with them, have an accountability partner and more. It’s also just nice having people around you who share your beliefs and have things harmonious. But again, if you want to go solo in your walk with God for now, that’s fine. Let Him lead you in all you do.

Khiyah G

Georgia Southern '19

My name is Khiyah Griffin and I am currently a junior at Georgia Southern University majoring in Journalism.
Jordan Wheeler

Georgia Southern '22

Jordan Wheeler is a Junior Pre-Law Philosophy major who attends Georgia Southern. Jordan loves writing, singing, and hanging out with friends.