rebelling against low expectations

Friendship Matters


Thank you for all the stories you guys have already shared with us! Keep sending them to brett [at] therebelution [dot] com. Today we’re sharing the first of many submissions — from an 18-year-old named Camden. You can learn more about Camden by visiting his counter-cultural blog: Counter Cultural.

Camden shares a story about small acts of faithfulness, stepping outside his comfort zone, and obeying God even though he couldn’t see the fruit for years. This is an excellent reminder to all of us that doing hard things is a lifestyle, not a single event. Though we’d all like to make a big splash today — often our quiet faithfulness over long periods of time has an even greater impact.

Friendship Matters

In the summer of 2010, I met a kid named Nick at a summer camp where I worked. When I met Nick, I decided that I wasn’t going to let this connection slip past me. For a semester I forced myself to call him week after week and invite him to my youth group (if you didn’t know, phone calls were a major phobia for me). Many weeks he wouldn’t come; on weeks that he did, he seemed lost from the lessons.

When I left my youth group for college, I seriously wondered if anything I had done would last. I kept Nick along with a couple other friends on a short list of people I was committed to pray for through the school year.

Coming back for the summer, I saw Nick weekly during Ultimate Frisbee with friends from church. There wasn’t any incredible ministry, just living life and being a friend to him. When my friend’s graduation rolled around, I was convicted to ask if there was any way I could pray for Nick. When I saw an opportunity to sit down with him, he surprised me by starting the conversation.

“I’ve never really told you this before,” he said sitting next to me, “but I just wanted to thank you for all you did for me.” He then told me how thankful he was that I had invited him to youth group, how thankful he was that I had introduced him to some guys that are now some of his closest friends. All this paled when he told me how much closer he was to Jesus because I had lived and loved like Christ.

So what about you? Do you wonder if your actions really show through to your friends? Take a rain check on your worries and keep living as Christ to them. We honestly cannot overestimate the power of praying for our friends and living as Christ’s ambassador with them.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”2 Cor. 5:20

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About the author

Brett Harris

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.


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  • Camden, thanks so much for sharing this specific example of God’s work in your life! I know that sometimes I go to activities focused on me. How can I have fun, hang out with my friends, etc. But we should never “take a break” from ministry and turn it off or on in our lives. Perseverance in doing the little things God has called us to do should be consistent, even if it’s just being faithful to speak words of encouragement to the people around us!

  • What an inspiring story! Sometimes we doubt whether we’re doing any good when we don’t get results right away, but your story proves that we just need to have patience and trust in God! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Wow! Great post! I’ve experienced the same thing…when it seemed like all your praying and reaching out weren’t having any impact and then God shows you how faithful He is to work. :o)

  • That’s so cool! I have a friend who went on a missions trip & when she came back she was all ready to help a person who was/is really hard to get along with. What ended up happening was different girl who just suffered through a break-up needed encouragement. So, my friend encouraged her and told her how God had helped her before with a break-up too. Later they got together for lunch and my friend helped lead that girl to Christ! Now that girl is going to (my) amazing church and is willing to serve God, all because someone took the time to encourage her…:) I think that is an awesome story too…

  • Such an encouraging story!!
    It’s quite amazing to see the influence we can have on our friends lives when our everyday lives reflect Jesus.
    Thank you!!

  • Thanks Camdem. There is a girl I know who is about my age, but really hard to break through to. She’s not defensive or anything; it’s just hard going. Thanks for encouraging me to keep on pressing into the friendship.

    This is being an ambassador. Living and loving other like Jesus did and does. While we don’t need to Bible-bash, it’s also about not being ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God!

  • This is exactly what I needed to hear. It amazes me how God provides you with the message you need most. Colossians 5:20 is the verse God has recently been impressing on my heart. Low and behold, it is this articles closing verse! Thank you. Little everyday actions of building a relationship with someone…wow, it is amazing how the small things can leave the greatest impact. It reminds me of the way Jesus ministered and discipled. He lived life with people. And what great men His disciples became because of it.

  • Thank you for sharing this testimony! It was very encouraging to me! I know that I sometimes get discouraged in friendships and wonder if I am even making a difference in someones life. Thank you for reminding me to remain a faithful friend and love like Christ no matter the results. Even though we can not see what is happening in someones heart, God can and He can use our witness to make a big impact on others.

  • Thank you for such a great story! It never fails to amaze me how simple actions can have such huge effects on people. Just a few days ago, I felt like God wanted me to encourage a friend in his calling. As it turns out, the topic had come up in his own life only a day or two before! God’s timing is always incredible, and he can use us to do magnificent things for His kingdom.

    I also have people in my own life who need a friend, and I trust God that even my small acts of kindness toward them will have a lasting impact on their life such as in Camden’s case. Thanks for such a encouraging post!

  • Every time there is a new person to meet I like to think of them as a puzzle or a book. No puzzle walks up to you and sits at your feet. You have to take the initiative, you have to walk to the closet and pick it up. Just remember there’s a story in every book and if you choose not to pick up that book you may never hear that story, ever.

  • Thanks for the encouragement, Camden. A friend of mine that recently moved away has been on my heart recently and this post fit perfectly! Thank you again,

  • Thanks so much for the post. It was really encouraging!

    Genesis, that’s a really good point you made about taking the initiative with new people. I can really relate to that.

  • Hey guys. Can you take a quick moment and pray for me. God has placed me in two specific lives, both young girls and they are both really, really struggling. One lost her father just a few weeks ago from an unexpected heart attack … the other just had a close friend who was bullied to the point of suicide. They both do not know Jesus and, if I was to make a pretty fair guess, I am most likely the only christian/connection they have with Him in their lives right now. Pray that the Holy Spirit would speak through me to encourage these precious girls. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to have to go through something like that without having Jesus… Pray for them too.
    Thank you… so much.
    In His Grip,

  • Thanks for sharing, Julia. That’s definitely a hard situation, and I’m glad that you’re approaching it with a heart to reach out and with prayer. Praying that the God of all comfort equips you to show comfort as He has show you (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).

    Just prayed for them,


  • What a testimony. As believers, we need to encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith.

    Thanks for encouraging me through this post! God Bless

  • It looks like Camden’s patience payed off. I think sometimes it can be hard for us to be patient when nothing seems to be happening. We want God to do something big through us right away, and are often frustrated when that doesn’t happen. Lately I’ve been so focused on the big picture. Doing something to impact the most people. I had almost completely forgotten how extremely important the little things are. I would like to thank you guys for reminding me with this story. I hope God continues to bless the work y’all are doing!

By Brett Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →