Sitting silently when truth, liberty, free speech and tenets of Christianity are attacked is the result of fear. I understand the fear, but I also understand the need for courage. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s acting in spite of fear.

When you are confronted with fear, it may be helpful to remember the following:

Just do it

You’re sitting there in class thinking someone should say something, somebody should try to stop this runaway train, and yet the words stay in your mouth. When that happens, ask yourself this: If not me, then who? Speak up. Go Nike -- Just do it. The more you do, the more natural speaking up becomes.

Be true to your convictions

2 Corinthians 10:15 says, "Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will grow greatly . . . " Part of growing in faith involves developing your own convictions. Having convictions means being willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of an idea or a principle.

Rub a dub dub

When faced with fear and the possibility of being embroiled in a heated discussion, remember the words of theologian G.K. Chesterton: "I believe in getting into hot water. It keeps you clean."

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This article is adapted from  Fish Out of Water: Surviving and Thriving as a Christian on a Secular Campus by Abby Nye, (New Leaf Press). Copyright © 2005 by Abby Nye. Used with permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

Abby Nye is currently a student at Butler University, and will complete her program of study in Spring 2006. On campus, she has been active with Campus Crusade and was co-founder of Veritas, a collegiate think tank that invites non-Christians to open forums featuring speakers on controversial issues that stimulate campus-wide discussion in the pursuit of truth. Abby has been published in WORLD magazine and has been a two-year participant in the Indiana Student Leadership Forum sponsored by Congressman Mike Pence. She can be reached at abbynye06@yahoo.com.

Related articles:

College 101: Surviving as a Christian on a Secular Campus
Test of Faith: Christianity in the College Classroom