rebelling against low expectations

3 Things You Should Know: From One Teenager to Another


Time can’t go backwards. (That frustrates me almost more than anything).

During the time each of us is given, however, we learn lessons. Lessons made for sharing. Each one of us has a story, a gem of wisdom capable of saving – saving time, energy, heartache, or maybe even a life.

It’s easy to wish we could go back to certain moments in life and share a gem of wisdom we now have with ourselves. But, we can’t. Time won’t go backwards.

Other people, however, may be at a point where they desperately need just what you are wanting to say. Please, for the sake of all those around you, say it.

What I’ve written below is the message this fumbling high-schooler wishes she could’ve given herself four years ago.

– – – – || Three Words || – – – – –


1. Know who you are.

No, I don’t mean “know what you like, what you do, your style,” or anything like that. I mean know, without a shadow of a doubt, your identity – who you are at your core – because everything else about you will stem from that.

Don’t only know who you are, though; believe it and live from it.

(Want to know who you are at your core? The Bible is filled with the truth of your identity. For starters check out 1 John 3:1, Hebrews 10:10, and 2 Corinthians 5:20.)

2. Now, stop focusing on you and live responsibly.

You know who you are, so you are freed up to do what you need to do.

Invest in what’s really important – not in worries, not in dwelling on what other people think of you, and not in obsessing over either the past or future. All you’ve got is right now, so use it and invest wisely.

People matter – invest yourself in them, in relationships, and in building others up. Faith matters – invest yourself in seeking His face so that you can hear and know His will. Then, you will know where else He wants you to invest.

Finally, no matter where you are, always invest all of yourself. Don’t hold back. It’s pointless (let’s be real.)

3. Be an intentional good-doer and problem solver.

The world needs you! Daily, you have opportunities to speak life and plant hope. You know where in your life. You know the girl who just needs a hug, your friends who just need to hear that you love them, or your sibling who really needs some help with that homework.

You bless people, though, not only with what you do but also by who you are. Somebody needs to see a smiling face today. Someone is hearing that conversation you are having with your mom. Someone notices how you responded to that situation.You are leaving a fragrance behind whether you like it or not.

Further, you have skills needed in problems that are asking you to solve them! So go. do. Purpose to pour yourself out because, when you’ve emptied yourself, you will be filled in a whole new way.

My message is this:

Be grounded in who you are.

Be invested fully in all the responsibilities that come your way.

Be a blessing by leaving a fragrance of hope as you pour out yourself for this world’s healing.

For, time will not go backwards.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, you, wonderful person at the other end of this screen, have a message, a story, and wisdom gems, too. You know the world needs to hear it. Please, then, bless us all by sharing it in the comments below. Thank you for choosing to touch somebody’s life.

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Photo courtesy of Leo Reynolds and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Deborah Spooner

- a college student and pastor’s kid - is a city loving and avocado eating cultural enthusiast, creative, and dreamer who is addicted to dipping words in candor as she writes for her blog Hope Shining. Her hope is anchored to a man who came to earth around 2,000 years ago – Jesus of Nazareth – and she just wants to know Him and make Him known.

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By Deborah Spooner
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 →