rebelling against low expectations

How do you live (practically) like every day is your last?


SUBMITTED BY SAM: This question was inspired by the life and death of Clayton McDonald. How do we live every moment to the fullest? How do we love others the way Clayton did? How do we enjoy life and preach the gospel and serve as if this is our last day on earth? And how do we do that practically (and sustainably) given that many of us will enjoy longer lives than Clayton did?

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently 7 Comment(s)

Have something else you’d like to discuss? Just submit your question or topic (and any elaboration you’d like to provide) using our Submit Content Page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Discussion Questions

are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Have you ever gone to a coffee shop, a train station or some other public place, sat down and just watched people. Then thought to yourself “Almost all of these people are going about their lives with no clue about Jesus Christ or His gospel.” Or have you ever walked around your neighborhood and simply prayed for the people around you, for their salvation and how you can help show them Christ. I think the best way to start living each day as your last, is to first get the perspective of how other people are living – with no idea of what happens after their last day. Once you have that perspective and the passion to tell them (which will hopefully follow the perspective), the actual living it out can start following naturally.

  • We can live everyday like it is our last, by thinking “we not me.” Each day we have to choose slavery to Christ over our own selfish ambitions. By serving others we are serving Christ (Matthew 25:40). To serve others you must humble yourself as Jesus humbled himself to the point of death. See a need and meet a need. Is a girl sitting alone in the cafeteria? Sit with her. Are your frineds feeling depressed? Write an encouraging note to them. Is there a homeless man on the corner of the street? Hand him a 20 dollar bill. I understand this is simple in words, but not in actions. It is our fleshly desires telling us to “do what is best for you.” Remember God does not expect for us to be perfect. He just expects us to be growing.

  • Pray continuously. Ask God every day to show you opportunities to share His love with people around you in big and small ways. Ask Him to open your eyes to the needs of the people around you. And pray for courage to do what He asks you to do.

  • Love those around you like every moment might be the last time you have the chance to be with them. It might sound less than practical, but I’ve tried applying this to my own life, and I’ve found that it soon becomes second nature. Show your family through your words and your actions how much you love them. Put your friends interests and feelings before your own. Do the “scary” things. One day I stopped and asked myself what were some of the things I regretted in life. One of them was simply being too afraid to be there for someone that I thought needed a friend, someone that God was asking me to be there for. So I decided to step out of my comfort zone, stop living fear, and start doing what God has put on my heart to do. Okay, so it was a lot harder than that made it sound. 🙂 It took several years, but I think that in that time, I finally got to a place where I was doing the things God had put on my heart.

    So I guess my point is love others, and don’t let fear keep you from the amazing life God has for you. And always, always, always love God! The more we focus on Him, the more we can better be the person that He is calling us to be, and that should be our goal every day of our lives, from our first to our last.

    • Exactly! We have to be willing to follow God out of our way to reach other people with His love. We can’t be so focused on ourselves, but we also can’t get too caught up in the actions. Good things that we do don’t mean anything without Jesus behind them. Our first and foremost focus must be on God and then the fruit will naturally show in the rest of our life.

      • You said it! 🙂 There are so many situations in which we have to decide, are we going to be bold for Jesus, or are we going to give in to fear? We face situations like this so often that it’s impossible to just ride along and hope that when we get there, we’ll make the right choice, the loving choice. So I’ve started asking myself, If I were to stand before Jesus tomorrow (which certainly isn’t outside the realm of possibility), what would I want to be able to say? To say that I was bold for Him and loved my neighbor the way He has asked me to? Or to say that I was too afraid? It’s really convicting and many times has been the crucial factor in helping me to make the right choice.

        And amen to your closing thoughts. It’s not about what we do, it’s about Jesus. Our actions, however “good” they may be, can’t change who we are unless Jesus is the foundation, the force behind those actions.

  • This question is one I ask myself often. I have realized that each day I live could really be my last. I try to enjoy the things that matter most, and not waste each day waiting for the next. Showing the fruits of the spirit, loving and spending time with my family, and of course bringing glory to God. I think remembering my purpose helps me fulfill it everyday. The question “Does this glorify God, and how?” is very helpful, and has showed me the things that are and aren’t worth my time. Of course, I do find myself wasting some of my days, and forgetting how fortunate I am. But, I am blessed that I get each and everyday.

  • I know I say this often, but, again, I think the best answer is: Read your Bible, and pray. A daily quiet time is essential to efficient living for a born-again Christian. Then obey what God told you to do through His Word. A huge part of living every day (practically) as if it was your last comes down to discipline; self-discipline. Self-control is also very similar, and is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so that shows you how important it is to God that we make self-control an integral part of our lives. It isn’t easy… it’s “a hard thing,” =v)

    • Hey Louis:-) Thank you for sharing. May I also add that the need for the fruits of the Spirit (self control to name just one) do not diminish with age. I’m approaching 40 & I need God in every sense now more than ever! My focus has shifted from asking for God’s will in “conquering the world” to asking for His leadership in an invisible illness I have and in being a caregiver to ailing parents. God is still stretching me in His Call for me to die to myself every day:-)

  • I think a lot of comes down to how we spend our time. Spend it like its your last day to live, and you will spend it more wisely. Cut back on things that eat up your time and in the end have no real eternal value. Take advantage of opportunities to share Christ with everyone you come in contact with. Develop relationships with others(grab some coffee together, play basketball, go shopping) so that you might reach out to them and through those times you would have chances to share Christ with them or encourage them spiritually.

  • Well in the Bible it says that Jesus will come like a thief at night. As Christians we must live everyday to the fullest, or our life is pointless. Jesus could come at any moment in our lives, and we should make sure we glorified God in our lives.
    Imagine if you had one more day on earth, wouldn’t you do everything you could do to fulfill your life as a Christian? But the point is that we should live everyday, as if we only had one more day in our lives. That way we spread the gospel with great anxiety.
    From what I read, Clayton knew he was going to die. He used those last days of his life to spread the word of God. His life wasn’t pointless.
    Hope this answers the question!

  • Wow! What an inspiration!

    I think practically living out each day like it could be your last is just to live it
    to its fullest. I don’t mean like what you see in movies and such where you just go out and do whatever crazy things you want to because it is your life and “YOLO”.
    I mean living each day completely fulfilled, having made all the difference you can.

    I’d say that my problem comes in with the fact that I watch something like this video
    and I’m ready to drop out of school and live out my days in some hut in Africa
    or on TV speaking delivering huge, bold speeches to thousands of people, telling them about Jesus, but those are just the big things. Clayton’s conferences or his video that he made were his big things, but that wasn’t every day of his life. Maybe living out your life to the fullest isn’t about getting at least one person saved every day, or working with the homeless every week. I think it goes beyond that to the little, in-between, everyday moments of life. It isn’t about the actions at all. It’s about your heart.

    If speaking to large groups of people, having everyone know your story, or
    starting up some big project was what it took to have lived out a completely
    fulfilled life then all the celebrities and big-name speakers would be completely fulfilled, and as for those called to be the ones in the small huts in Africa, well too bad for them because they have no hope of a fulfilled life. What made Clayton’s story spectacular – what makes your story spectacular – is not what is being done, but Who it is being done for.

    Sometimes we need to do something big, but don’t overlook the small things. Maybe all God is calling me to do today is to finish my schoolwork with a heart attitude that honors Him. Either way, the schoolwork has to and will be completed, but only one of those ways brings about the completely God-filled life that we are
    looking for. Because practically, no, we cannot all quit everything and move to
    Africa. But maybe it is the diligence to complete all of our work well, the grace and humility to drop an argument without proving that we were right, or the smile and “God bless you” to a stranger at the grocery store that will make someone stop and wonder what makes us different. Maybe that one act that you thought meant nothing, or maybe even pushed you out of you comfort zone and was inconvenient because you had a bad day or were running late, that could change someone’s eternity. I believe a fulfilled life isn’t accomplishing something ground-breaking every day, but simply giving each day to God, following His lead and being willing to obey whatever He asks you to do during that day, for His glory.

    • That is sooo brilliantly put. Clayton is such an inspiration, and it does make me feel like I want to do something big and something that will impact thousands, and maybe someday God will give me that opportunity, if it is in His plan for me, but that isn’t Clayton’s message. His message is that every day, take the opportunities and give God the glory and thank him for everything, because God is responsible for everything in existence. What Clayton seemed to really grasp is put God first, and with that should come your desire to bring others to know him. To put all that really simply, live every day to the glory of God.

      • Yes!! That is true! We can’t get caught up with the big things, but we can’t get hung up over the smaller things either. It’s only about Jesus and just following and obeying Him wherever He leads and whatever He asks!

  • Thank you for having this question put up here. It pushed me to take time and think on a deeper level what living like that would really look like. It is so easy to sit and talk about! Actually living it out is difficult, but it falls so in line with what I feel God has been trying to teach me lately.

    • Yes, I understand. I have a hard time pushing through tough things with the God-honoring attitude I am called to have. I had the same issue when I went through algebra. I look back over my actions and my heart (actions reflect heart) and I’m sad by how I went at it. Now I have CLEPed out of my maths, so I won’t have to do that again, but part of me wishes I did have to do more, so that I could try to do it right now.

      All of life is centered around our hearts. The things that we do that glorify God, I think glorify Him, not so much because of the actions, but because of where our hearts are. And that is the difference other people notice, too. Think back to Mark 12 where the widow came and gave one coin as an offering to God. Jesus said she gave more than any of the other people because everyone else was giving comfortably because they had much. It was her heart being willing to give everything that she had that Jesus found right, it was not her actions.

      But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

      It’s okay that you don’t have it all figured out. None of us do! No one, while still on earth, will ever get it all together. That is why we have the body of Christ, to come together as encourage one another, to support each other and together move closer to being like Christ. It is good to ask questions. The day we stop asking questions is the day we stop growing. And we have the Bible to turn to for answers, as well as direct communication with the One who does have it all figured out. How cool is that!?!

    • Hahaha! Biology is so frustrating!! (Even though I’m only taking Life Science and I’m in 7th grade, I think I’ve had enough Biology to last the rest of my school career!) 🙂

      I know what you mean by being hesitant to do hard things. (Ironic that I’m on a site that’s all about Doing Hard Things and I’m horrible at at it…) Sometimes it’s hard to answer that one question in Math class when nobody is answering and I know the answer. You have to be courageous to do hard things, and honestly, I don’t think I have that much courage. I’m to concerned with what others will think of me. So, you’re not alone in being super hesitant! 🙂

  • Look for ways to serve others in the little stuff (doing the dishes, playing with siblings, whatever) and be ready to give up your own agenda just to spend time with people. Little stuff leads to bigger things, that consistency shows something’s different in a way that demands a gospel explanation.

  • What if we all lived as passionately as the persecuted church, Being not afraid of the soldiers (bullies, friends, adults) that don’t believe and want to destroy our faith. What if we went to church willingly instead of unwillingly then, after hearing your pastor’s message, go and calltext a friend about what you got out of the message.
    Those were a few ways that could think of.

  • Honestly this was also my question. God has so shown me the importance of not just going through the motions but to live every second to the fullest. to live every second like it could be your last. and know i’ve gotten a knew focus on the world. i’m learning to love those i’ve hated before. and i’m learning to love those the world and my close friends don’t. and i’ve even counseled know a good friend of mine who i used to not like. God has shown me that everyone needs our love and that everyone is hurting just like us. and God gave me the experiences i needed to help this girl through her struggles everything she described that she was going through i had gone through. and it’s so cool how God uses your past struggles for his glory to bring someone else back from the darkness.

  • this is my question as well. i wish i had the chance to talk to clayton. it would be so interesting. i know i don’t personally know him but watching his videos and all makes me feel like i do. i miss him. a lot

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 →