LifeTalk: Karan Jacob Philips
This week we’re revisiting a talk between Pastor Priji and Karan Jacob Philips about his life, his relationship with the Lord and his way of relating to friends as a young Christian.
Pastor Priji: How long have you been in Bangalore? Where have you come from? How has your life been in Bangalore? How different is it from life back home with your parents?
Karan: I’ve been in Bangalore for 4 years. I’m from Dubai. Well, it’s definitely been an experience, being away from my parents, being on my own. Spiritually it’s been a roller coaster, going up and down, but I’m just learning to depend more on God everyday. It’s a challenge for me because, I’ve been a Mummy’s-Boy since a young age, but since I left for Bangalore, I’m a Jesus-Boy. I definitely do miss my family too.
Pastor Priji: Have you learnt any lessons during the last 4 years of your stay here in Bangalore?
Karan: Yeah, the most important lesson I learnt is that God is good, He is forever with me regardless of anything and that He would never leave nor forsake me, because it depends on what sort of walk you are in, could be a period of 4 years or your college life or your married life. Based on my struggles I learnt that God is good and that when I run away from Him, when I find myself in darkness, away from God, when I’ve put myself there and then I find myself running back to him, crying back to him, calling back to him, and He’s always a gracious and loving father. Whenever I have fallen and then come back to him, I always find him with arms stretched wide and welcoming me back with forgiveness.
Pastor Priji: When you’re going through a difficult and really bad time, how do you pull yourself up? What do you practically do? Would you speak to somebody or read the bible or worship? What exactly would you do?
Karan: Well personally I feel like I go through something everyday. If everyday is a blessing, everyday there can also be challenges, so everyday you have to keep recommitting to God. So, every time I personally go through something, what I do is try to soak myself in the Word. Sure sometimes it just seems like a numb activity that you’re doing but it’s important that you soak yourself in His presence, in the Word and what He has to say. What I generally do is, I face God’s facts in my head, I keep running it over and over again in my head like a disc with 10-15 facts in it played in loop. His promises, things from book of Proverbs, the fact that He loves me, the fact that Jesus gave up His life for me!
When I’m done, I just sit there, not think about my problems or college or my workload, I take some time off and just focus on the Word and those facts and how He has pulled me out of many struggles before and how He always comes through for me and that I just need to recommit and re-believe that I will be okay.
Pastor Priji: On that note, can you tell us any verse that is your favorite verse or any verse that has been a big blessing to you?
Karan: I’ve got my favorite verses written on sticky notes, stuck to my bedroom walls.
But, Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future’, is one of my favorite verses.
Pastor Priji: I know that student-life can be a little challenging, especially that you’ve been in the engineering field which has a lot of assignments and study load that goes along with it. What advice would you give to somebody who is joining their first year of engineering? First year of medical college? Or any of the other professional courses? What advice would you give as somebody who has experience in this.
Karan: Spiritually you could look at it and submit to God, but I’ll give my personal experience, practical approach too. I personally like to tell people to just find your love for it. Don’t look at it as a burden, you’ve taken this up to make a life for yourself, you’ve taken this up because you like it and to see what’s out there, so don’t look at it as a burden, look at it as something you have to do, it’s your duty, your responsibility. It’s just one of those things in life that you have to do.
Education is a must. You need education to make a living for yourself, so just enjoy it since it’s a must, don’t fight it.
Pastor Priji: How do you value friendships? I know that as young people, most often the one place where we struggle in is having healthy friendships, so do you have good friends around you? Many times, friendships can make or break someone, so my question is, what is the best way to handle peer pressure in college times, teenage times, when your friends are inviting you to do something you’re not supposed to do?
For example, when I was in my college years, my friends brought the leaked question paper to me the day before the exams, and you know that you’re not supposed to be reading this and you know everybody in the hostel is reading it. So, it just takes a lot of place in your head, because you don’t want to lose your friends but at the same time you want to stand up for God.
How would you tackle these situations, if you were put up in these situations? How would you stand up for your belief system?
Karan: Well, I’ve been here a lot of times like ‘ come on bro just 1 sip, come on bro just 1 drag ‘. If they really are your friends, they’re not going to force you into anything and let you stand in what you believe in. Also you have to make it evident and clear that you stand for God, Christ is what means the most to you, that you can’t and don’t want to do these things that jeopardize your relationship with God or displease Him. If your friends agree to this and let you stand for your beliefs, then they’re your friends, but if this isn’t the case and they don’t agree with your beliefs, then there’s no other way to slice this- you have to cut ties with them. Like, you said, they either make or break you, and this is definitely just breaking you. So you can’t be 2 sided. You can always say that you have your born-again friends and your secular friends, but your secular friends need to know who you are, that your life is for Christ and what you stand for.
Looking at my Christian friends, just makes me always want to get better, they make you, they help your cause.
Your swing for Jesus will also depend on who you hang around or hang out with. What you spend your time in, is what you’re reaping out. If you’re always in negativity, filth, then you’re going to stay there and be like that, but if you’re always around encouraging, loving, motivational people, then that’s the peak that you’re going to climb, that’s where you’re going, where you’re headed.
So, I would honestly suggest, pick your friends, choose your friends wisely, because these things are very important to your life and character. You want to be influenced in the right way, you want to be stronger in Christ. You don’t want to be a stronger alcoholic, you want to be a stronger Jesus-holic!
Have a blessed day!
(Note: This is a repost. This post was originally posted on October 10, 2015)
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