rebelling against low expectations

Did You Really Think There Wouldn’t Be a Cost?


I’m a wimp.

This isn’t exactly a new discovery, but in light of recent events it’s a fairly obvious physical trait.

When I think of myself I see a strong, confident girl ready to take on anything with a sparkling smile, sense of humor, and endurance that would outlast Chuck Norris (maybe a little past his prime).

Of course, my daydream usually commences as I’m perched in a comfy chair with my phone, snacks, purse, books, iPad, sketchbook, and Snuggie in-and-around my lap.

Then there are the periodical times when I leave my delusion to go jogging — and while I feel great and natural and like I’m out to change the world when I start, things start to change in about three minutes.

The first time I stop to walk I’m huffing, noticing the pretty wildflowers, and with my ponytail swinging behind me, trying to convince myself that the end of my route looks farther away than it really is.

The second time I stop to walk my sides hurt and I have given up on putting the earbuds back in my ears every five steps.

By the time I’m, say, half-a-mile down the road, the wildflowers might as well shove their scrawny heads into the ground!

I’m pretty good with not complaining and staying focused on my goal of reaching home… but when I’m 3/4 of a mile down the road I’ve started to make up medical terms for the condition in my spine and consider consulting my doctor before engaging in such a rigorous activity, as this may not be right for me and it is 58.2 percent likely I may come down with serious side effects that may or may not be permanent (please peel back label for continued warnings).

Okay, here’s my point:

Discipline and endurance are never developed in one experience.

We sometimes think we accomplish worthwhile things without sacrifice — without cost.

But as much as we wish we could be magically tanned, grand, and in command after a short run, things just don’t work that way. Strength takes time to build up and diligence to maintain.

After reading a short snippet in the Bible, you shouldn’t consider yourself finished for the day and ready for any spiritual battle that comes in the next week. Spiritual depth is the result of faithfully nourishing your soul over time.

After asking for all your needs to be met in a five minute prayer before you sleep, you shouldn’t think your job is done. The Bible says “the fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16), not the fast recounting of someone who wants to jump into bed.

Fasting (a practice definitely requiring endurance) shows a Christian’s true heart position and reveals a dedication to the principle that God and His righteousness is more valuable to us than even our most basic survival need. Going without food is very difficult. But if you do it regularly, it becomes easier and you begin to truly understand the concept of letting go of the earth’s pleasures to rely on God.

Romans 2:7 calls us to “persistence,” “perseverance,” and “patient continuance” (depending on your translation).

So when you begin something, whether it’s a project, an exercise, or seeking after God it may be very difficult to continue diligently.

But persevere and work through the discipline necessary to reach your goal. And then turn around to say, “Glory be to God for His unfailing mercy and love.”

Because don’t forget: There is a cost. Nothing worthwhile is easy — and nothing is worthwhile that doesn’t bring glory and honor to our Lord.

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Jewel Schuurmans

is an 18-year-old living on the prairies of South Dakota. Her passions are learning, writing, and investing in her family. She feels immensely grateful for the blessings God had given her, and more than anything else she looks forward to the day when she can finally fall into the arms of her Savior.


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  • I love the last sentence, so simply, but beautifully put! A great encouragement that I really needed. I often feel like giving up because of a lack of discipline. Thanks, Jewel!

  • I love the the last phrase of the “about the author”! I feel the same way! I can’t wait to finally fall into the arms of my Savior!

    • Absolutely! I love the sense of security God provides, like it says in Psalm 91:1 “He that abideth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

  • I think you just described my cross country season in 7th grade! 😀 But thank God I had my mom to tell me not to quit. I still didn’t like, nor will I do cross country again, but it actually taught me this same lesson. Although granted, I’m still a wimp as well. 🙂

  • Gosh, I really needed this right now. I’m at a point in my life where I’m getting restless, I want to do something, and I want to do it now. But… “God why aren’t you just placing this within reach of my hand? I can’t drag myself up out of this chair to do something big. That’s hard…” Yeah, that’s pretty much been my attitude. So thank you very much for this post, Jewel. 🙂

    • I know exactly what you mean, it’s like we know we want to be disciplined but we wish God would just give us the discipline so we wouldn’t have to work for it. lol!

  • Wow, Jewel, really convicting article! It’s so easy to think, “I did it once, I’m good for a while. No need to do it again so soon.” (about anything – exercise, discipline, etc.) But doing hard things isn’t easy, and we have to actually work to gain good things – not just sit around hoping they will happen. Thank you so much!

  • Doing Hard Things; ….is sometimes undertaken without a thought about how long it will take. Often, we forget that Doing Hard Things might mean Doing Small Things over a long period of time. Perhaps we forget that Doing Hard Things might mean Doing Things We Don’t Particularly Like. Most of all, we often forget that Doing Hard Things isn’t easy. In fact, it may not always be fun. But I am reminded of the opening lines of that book which started this whole movement.

    “Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last.”
    But they did. And it has. May it last for all of you. Thanks Jewel for this convicting and terrific article.

    • So true Caleb! We have to understand that hard things will BE hard. We have to have discipline and do the small things over that long period of time! We have to rebel and show those people that don’t think we understand or care. That don’t think we will make a change that will last!

      • Exactly right. We must not conform to the social norms; or even the Christian norms of low expectations.

    • Wow! What I needed to see today, Caleb 🙂
      And that is probably my favorite quote from Do Hard Things!

      • It’s one of their most memorable; I actually heard a sermon on 1st Timothy 4:12 and this line was mentioned.

        • Yeah. I’ve actually translated it into Spanish. (Everyone else was finishing a test, so I had free time… and I had it memorized so I thought “hey, why not?”)

          • But I didn’t know all the words so it turned out like: Muchas personas no piensan que vas a entender lo que hablamos en este libro. Y si tu entiendes, no piensan que you’ll care y si you care , no piensan que vas a hacer nada de eso. Y si haces algo, no piensan que it will last. We do.
            So it looked kinda weird. Hey, wanna talk over on Revive? We’re pretty off-topic…

  • Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For
    which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit
    down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” Lk. 14:27-31

  • Jesus said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost.”You cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” Luke 14:25-28,33

    One of the problems in the church today is that so many christians want salvation and eternal life but then reject the process of sanctification—that of becoming Holy as Jesus was Holy. People think that because they have said a prayer that they believe in Jesus that is all there is to becoming a christian. Jesus makes it quite clear in this passage that there is a cost to being His disciple. A prayer for salvation is not just a lucky rabbits foot that will gain you access into heaven…but many think that way. In Philippians Ch. 3, Paul says, “For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him.” Nothing will slow down the sanctification process more than compromising with the culture of today. “If the godly compromise with the wicked, it is like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.” Proverbs 25:26 NLT It takes great faith to live in these times and be faithful to God’s word but to young people I would say this——“Forever, O Lord, Your word stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth You created.” Psalm 119:89-90 NLT One of my favorite Old Testament verses is found in Joshua about Caleb and his faith and trust in God. Caleb says, “So here I am today, eighty- five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.” Joshua 14:10-11 NLT There is a cost to following Christ but we are to be strong and persevere to the end, after all, that is what Jesus did for you and me.

    • It is true of course that there is a process of laying down the old man, but would you suggest that salvation itself would require more than true acceptance of God’s free gift?

      • Not at all! There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 2:8 make that very clear. What Jesus did for us on the cross, His suffering so that we might have eternal life should make us want to live and die, if necessary, for Him. It cost God a great price for our salvation…we should expect no less.

      • Agreed: salvation is a free gift, received by faith. That is indisputable. The question is whether people actually have faith if their lives are not being transformed. The transformation comes as a result of being saved. Perhaps some people just don’t realize how big of a deal them being saved is or don’t know what to do afterwards, but if someone truly believed that they were saved by God, not on any account of good that they have done, and that His way is right and the world will pass away, would they not seek Him to know Him more and be transformed? Of course it is very difficult to do in our sinful flesh and in a sinful world and with an enemy who wants to destroy us, but God is Sovereign over all of that and has overcome the world, so now we can live not as slaves to sin but freely as slaves to righteousness and friends of God.

  • Thanks for the awesome post Jewel! Just watched the movie Unbroken last night and we (that would be my family and I) keep talking about all things that built up in his life so he could actually stand strong throughout WWII and after. That and we are all a bunch a wimps!! But I have been thinking about this a lot and I loved your last line – Nothing worthwhile is easy – and nothing is worthwhile that doesn’t bring honor and glory to our Lord. It really is true! We love stories where the person has to overcome Hard situations – big and small. We love when they triumph and we wonder why we can’t do these things too. Well, I guess it just boils down to Do you honestly think this will be easy? And you just need to get down to business and DO HARD THINGS!

  • Wow… this probably wasn’t intentional, but the title of this DQ is almost an exact quote from the 2003 Martin Luther movie.

    “That day when you sent me out so boldly to change the world, did you really think there wouldn’t be a cost?”

      • Actually @joyfuljoyful:disqus I think is talking about the Martin Luther of Germany, the theologian and professor, and that movie is just called Martin Luther. 😉

          • I have read a little about him, but not a lot. I would actually like to read up on him a little more. Maybe I should add him to my summer reading list. 😉 Were you thinking about something in particular about him or just wondering if I had heard of him?

          • I was just wondering if you had heard of him. Martin Luther was mentioned and that made me think of Bonhoeffer, b/c Luther had an influence on him.
            If you’re really interested, Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas is 600-some pages but DEFINITELY worth the read!! Reading that literally changed my life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a now personal hero of mine.

          • Oh gotcha! Yeah, I actually have heard of that book by Eric Metaxas, because I think I listened to some kind of speech or something by Eric Metaxas talking about Bonhoeffer. 600 pages is a lot! 😉

        • Thanks for the info! I LOVE learning about MLK Jr. (Sorry I really didn’t feel like typing all of that out!

          • You’re welcome! Yeah, I haven’t read a ton about him, but from what I have read, I think he is a pretty neat person. Have you seen that movie?

      • Martin Luther of the Reformation, from whom the Lutheran church got their name. 2017 will be the 500th year since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Church door in Wittenberg.

        (Actually, Martin Luther King Jr. was named after Martin Luther.)

        here is a link with more information on Martin Luther:

        • Ok thanks! I always forget about him because I haven’t read/heard as much on him! But I will definitely check out the link! Thanks!

          • Awesome!!!
            Well, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian, pastor, and double agent in WWII. We was eventually hanged (MURDERED) by the Nazis for his part in the plot to assassinate Hitler.
            I read Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. I highly recommend it — it changed my life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my personal heroes.

          • Thanks! I LOVE learning more about WWII and this sounds like a guy I will have to look into! Library here I come!

          • Sweet!! 😀
            I love WWII too!!!! Who’d have known??
            Like I said, I totally recommend Metaxas’ work. It’s a long read but absolutely worth it.

          • Oh yes…

            I wrote a 12 paragraph essay on him for school this year…

            It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it. There is some controversy over him, but some parts of his life are very inspiring. I think the most so was when he said:

            I will have no right to participate in the
            reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the
            trials of this time with my people… Christians in Germany will have to face the
            terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that
            Christian civilization may survive or willing the victory of their nation and
            thereby destroying civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must
            choose but I cannot make that choice from security.[i]

            [i] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as quoted by Anonymous,
            “Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” Wikipedia

          • Amen to that! I was so moved by Eric Metaxas’s portrayal of him. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my personal heroes.

          • Hey, if you want, you could email your essay to me. I’d be really interested in reading it!

  • This is probably the best article I’ve read in a while! I have a big struggle with being lazy and wimpy, even though I tend to think of myself as doing pretty well. 😛 Great job, Jewel!

  • Great article, Jewel! (Though, that is what everyone else said too.) 😀
    This really is an area that I struggle in, just like you. I can hardly do a little of something difficult before feeling like it’s not worth it and giving up.
    To be honest, I’m scared of really going all out in those efforts. (A very un-Rebelutionary thing to say, I know) Guess I’ll have to learn how to stick it through.

  • Awesome article! Love the line “Nothing worthwhile is easy”, I keep running into that fact. Funny how something so inspiring can seem like such a bore to live out sometimes. Yet when you accomplish that thing you’ve worked so hard for, even when it seemed like a waste of good energy…the payoff is so, so sweet. Thanks for writing!

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 →