rebelling against low expectations

What should you do when you feel like you’re not doing anything important?


GABRIELLE WRITES: The only things I have been doing recently are school, finding ways to keep God a priority, growing in Him, singing in the choir, and having fun with friends. I’m in a youth ministry, God is working out my pride, and I’m seeking to know God’s will for my life.

Yes, those are important, but I don’t feel like I’m really doing anything. People are being impacted by the life I live, but I want to do something big for God! Something like joining a movement to speak out for the unborn or stop human trafficking… something that really makes a difference. I don’t want to bring attention or glory to me, but to God. I don’t want to move ahead of God. I also don’t want to think that the small hard things aren’t important. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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  • Not sure if this is exactly what you’re looking for, but I thought I’d post it anyways:

    โ€œOne who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” =)

    • If you don’t feel like you’re doing anything important than it is time for self-reflection. That is looking in the mirror and asking yourself what exactly are you doing to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is also asking God to circumcise our hearts and show us the ugliest that lies within it. Self-reflection can be a painful experience but it always is a rewarding one.

      • Self-reflection……yeah, I like that. I will say I am intentionally striving to grow in those areas, plus I’m trying to allow God to take away my pride, and make me humble. That’s something huge for me right now. Thanks a lot for sharing!!

  • Hey Gabrielle.
    One thing that you can do is set a goal. You can research organizations (or even possibly start your own) and volunteer, or help raise money/collect donations for that organization. You can set a goal of what you want to achieve for that organization.
    Hope I helped

    • Yes. When times permits and I can drive, I want to join an organization, or some group were for 1) I’ll be forced outside my comfort zone, 2) leadership and clear communication is developed, 3) and I am making a difference foe Christ. Now of course I don’t have to wait technically for those three things to take place. i really can start now, but I think I just haven’t quit reached the place in God where I can just simply say yes right now and obey what he tells me to do and say……..I don’t know. It’s really a matter of obeying for me. More to the question though, I probably just need to remember that the little things do prepare and get us ready for bigger hard things and more responsibilities, rather than come sooner or later.

      Sorry, did you follow all that?

  • If you feel like you could be doing more, take something you do daily to the next level. Use your youth ministry skills to start a Bible study at your school. And then take your Bible study to the next level by starting a fundraiser within that group. What you do does not determine greatness, it’s your vision and intentions that make it great.

  • You may not be doing anything big and important like leading
    a movement against human trafficking now, but that doesnโ€™t mean you never will.

    Now you may be in a time of preparation. Iโ€™m in the same
    place. As to what you should do? Prepare. Prepare for the spiritual warfare
    that is raging in this world. Prepare for the day when God Does call you to do
    what seems like the impossible.

    Continue to be diligent in school, even if you donโ€™t like it
    much. It will help you down the road.

    Study Godโ€™s word and get to know Him. He will reveal things
    to you in His timing.

    Pray. Pray and ask God to let Him reveal His will to you.

    Look for ways to serve God in the little ways. As unimportant as they may seem.

    Iโ€™m in that place right now and I too get restless. Really
    restless. But Iโ€™ve learned, as hard as it is, Iโ€™m in a time of preparation. Iโ€™m
    going to try to remain diligent so that when God calls me, Iโ€™ll be prepared to

    • Oh Joy, that was VERY encouraging. Sometimes it’s hard knowing that yes you’re in a time of preparation, when there’s so many other young people actively ‘out there’ making a difference. Not that I’m jealous or want people to know my name, etc., but I guess…..well, we talk about sharing Christ at church, and I wonder what am I doing to further the kingdom. Living holy and living for Him daily yes, but why can’t I just feel free to speak about Jesus every chance I get. You know? For me though, with that I have to step out on faith, stand in what I know, and all those great things!!

      God’s timing. Waiting sure can be hard. Waiting for your time….
      Oh yeah, and school. My attitude about that is slowly changing…. ๐Ÿ™‚

      This year I have determined in my heart that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS I want to keep God and my relationship with Him as my TOP priority!!

      “Iโ€™m going to try to remain diligent so that when God calls me, Iโ€™ll be prepared to answer.” Amen!! I receive that for myself!!

      Thanks so very much for sharing your thoughts!!

      • For me it’s a little more than that. Not only am I waiting for a call from God. I’m also waiting for the ability to get back to my active life. I’ve been laid up since New Years with a leg injury so I haven’t been able to do my marial arts and active life. It’s given me a lot of time to think. And made me all the more restless.

        • I hope your leg heals soon, Joy. I do martial arts too and broke my foot a couple years ago (the only things that kept me from going crazy were a lot of good books and racing on my crutches). I don’t know if you’re allowed on Youtube, but Wing Chun has a lot of drills you can do with just your hands (lop sao and pak sao for example). I’ll be praying:)

        • Wow, I thought of my brother when I read that, because he injured his leg recently and it’s really been hard for him because track is like the one thing he enjoys.

          • Yeah. It’s rough. But I’ll get though it. Months out of Tae Kwon Do has given me time to do other things like sew with my mom in the evenings. I can’t wait to get back at it, but part of me is greatful for the forced time off.

        • Oh it’s horrible when God literally, physically makes you stop and sit still. I had an injury a couple years back that still slows me down. It’s hard. I hope you get back on your feet soon ๐Ÿ™ It’s a good time to be reading/catching up on reading though

  • I know how you feel! Honestly, it’s probably just a time of preparation. I don’t recommend rushing into anything just because you want to do “something”. The only thing that makes a difference in eternity is winning souls to Christ, and that begins with relationships. Perhaps for now, God just wants you to focus on getting to know Him better and building relationships and evangelizing to those around you?

  • When I feel like I’ve achieved nothing, my mum taught me to stop and look back. I often feel the same. I’m just a student. I don’t do much. But look back at all the things you’ve done in your life, including all the little achievements. For me this would be things like finishing highschool at 16 and starting uni at 17, learning a language in less than 3 months, being my mum’s second in command in that year out, developing a love for evangelism and graphic design, learning the ukulele in 6 months, just stuff like that. It feels stupid and insignificant but it’s all these little things that add up and make up God’s training program for us.

    I don’t know if that really helps but basically, sit down, write down a list of things you’ve accomplished (spiritual, academic, and practical and anything else you can think of) and then see that actually, all these little things add up. If that’s not working, write beside each how God has used these things.

    The small and invisible things are the hardest and weirdly, some of the hardest things don’t feel all that hard when you are doing them. They just are. I’ve found one of the hardest things is being content with my boring(?) lot in life and doing my utmost for his glory in it. When hard things become a habit, you sometimes stop recognizing them as hard things.

    You can, of course, also pray and start investigating options for other things you could be doing. If you want to fight abortion I reccommend contacting McKennaugh who runs APPOINT ( It’s a great thing and awkwardly I actually owe her some posters :/ …

    • Wow, that’s amazing!! Kudos to you!! I try not to slide into being jealous of other people like you who may not be doing anything big, at least by their standards, but have accomplished a lot while still young. I wish some things were different, but no need to harp on your should have could have ‘s. Thanks for the thought. That may help!

      I do know that there are some things that God wants to work out of me, and work in me. Plus, I just need to be obedient to what He’s already said, or what he is saying. You know!? pride, humility, being obedient without hesitation, etc.

      Yeah, I know that there are some things that are very hard for others, but really aren’t for me, so I think nothing of it, like staying physically pure, doing things at home without being asked, and a few others.

      I am definitely praying about some things I’d like to do, but like I said I think God wants to work on me in some areas first.

      Thanks for your input. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your thoughts!! Keep doing well in school, and beyond!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • The small things are the hardest things. Seriously.

    I’d love to spend an entire year in a foreign mission field. I’d love to spend my day out talking to people and visiting prisons and orphanages. I’d love to try to end world hunger. I’ll go stand outside abortion clinics. Heck, I’d go out and witness to ISIS. I’d go to North Korea or Pakistan where I would in all probability be killed for my faith.

    You know what though? God has called me to do Algebra 2 and Chemistry and History and English and write essays about dead people and historical events that happened a long time ago. God’s called me to respect my parents, love my siblings, clean my room and bathroom, and do all kinds of little things that the world will never know about.

    And those things are a lot harder to focus on than the things in the first paragraph.

    My friend, you’re doing important things every day by living for God where he’s put you. Keep up the good work =D!

    • Yeah! being content with where God has you, and finding joy in the small hard things really are hard, let alone speaking to a thousand people about Christ!!

      Whoa, ISIS though!! A lot of prayer on that one!! lol! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yeah, you’re right!! I’m beginning to see how school really is important, and that God does use it and prepares you through it for His purposes! *sighs with a grin*

      Thanks so much Kyle!! You be encouraged too bro!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hello, Gabrielle ๐Ÿ™‚ Good question. Whenever I feel like this, I go and read the chapter in Do Hard Things about doing small hard things. I forget the actual title of the chapter, but it always helps me to find importance and encouragement in doing seemingly small, but no less, HARD things.

    • The chapter is simply called “Small Hard Things”. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Great question, Gabrielle. My answer is that you can actually do hard things today to help support things like that. If you want to support a pro-life group, you can call or write and see if there’s anything you can do to help fund, promote, or even just work there for a week or two. There is always a need for money and workers in the places that glorify God.
      That is great that you don’t want the glory for yourself; that shows great humility. I hope you’ve gained some encouragement and motivation through your question and these answers. Good luck, and God bless!

      • Well, I’ve been told that I have a lot of pride, and I have recognized it and definitely don’t want it, but deep down, yes, I just want to serve God and bring Him glory!!

        Thanks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is actually a problem I have struggled with some too, Gabrielle. It it can be so frustrating to feel like you are doing all this stuff but you can’t figure out what the point of it all is or what you’re doing with it. What’s helped me is to explore more of who I am, who God made me, and just look at the bigger picture on the whole. When I don’t know what I’m aiming for, I don’t ever know if I’m hitting it or not. And that just drives you nuts. You feel like your twirling your brain out in some pointless dance. But you find your truest freedom and direction in knowing who God made you and obeying that to the fullest, to the hilt. Elisabeth Elliott describes it like a sailboat: It is most beautiful, most powerful when it is running at full sail in the wind with every bit of its ropes and riggings perfectly aligned with the laws of nature. When you know how you work and how God made you tick, you will be able to see glimpses of the big picture in everything– both the “big” things and the everyday. God hasn’t created everyone for everything, and that’s okay and even good. In a whole lot of ways, I’m exactly where you are. I haven’t started a non profit. I haven’t been to Africa. I’m not even on the worship team anywhere. ;). Like Megan said– the small things are the hardest. But look for God. He is what makes something big or small. And He is good for telling all your struggles to. <3

  • Hey Gabrielle!
    This story is so similar to mine.
    I want to be at the mission fields and sharing the love of God to the people. I want to do radical things for God.
    My mission field is to show love for my family, friends, and church family.This is the hardest to do when you know someone who gets on your nerves so much.
    But like how @disqus_nMHdIM6csN:disqus said, the small things count(e.g. doing your homework, writing essays, respecting your parents and your siblings, and etc.) and are even the hardest.
    Don’t give up! Small hard things will prepare you to do radical things for God. Keep doing your small hard things!
    I remember there is this quote from the Do Hard Things book.
    “Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish… [great things or big things].” (I am sorry I forgot about the rest of the quote. :P)
    ~Alex & Brett Harris

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 “Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.”
    I recently worked my way through the same question (and still am, and probably will be for the rest of my life). I realized that part of my problem was my pride. Like most humans, I tend to look at things on a sliding scale: murder is a worse sin than lying, building a school in Africa does more for God’s kingdom than obeying my parents. I want to do something big for God. Key word ‘I’. Because the truth is, it doesn’t matter if it’s a murder or a lie, they are both equally sinful in God’s eyes, and I believe the same is true on the other end of the spectrum. God doesn’t care whether we lay one brick or one hundred bricks for His kingdom, as long as we love Him with all our hearts and earnestly wish (and look for opportunities) to serve Him. It’s we who care, who want to do ‘important’ and ‘radical’ things for Him. We’re clay jars and we want to be gold, but God can use us whatever and wherever we are.
    But I understand your restlessness. God may be using it to open your eyes to areas of service around you. Even if you can’t drive yet, there are ways you can help your community. If you’re a writer, you can write your local newspaper or congressman about issues like human trafficking; if you’re a talker, you can reach out to people at school/co-op/church/youthgroup who have disabilities; if you’re a server, you can help pick up chairs after services, bake cookies and give them to neighbors, etc; and if you’re none of the above, then you can pray (in fact, pray anyway). Pick an issue in the news, a missionary you heard about, whatever. As Christians, prayer is one of our great privileges and it impacts the world in ways we may never know, even if it doesn’t feel like we’re doing much.
    Sorry, my answer turned out a bit longer than I planned:p And I just wanted to say thanks for asking this question; it’s really made me think and reevaluate my own goals. Hope that helps!

    • I completely agree, @Cricket . Do whatever you can whenever you can, including the small things that (seemingly insignificantly) further God’s Kingdom. Welcome to the Reb, by the way, Cricket! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yeah, I have pride issues too, and it scares me that pride has even crept in!! I got to the point a couple years ago were I thought I had arrived and all that, but God did show me that no will arrive, but will keep growing spiritually until He comes back, but my relationship with God lately has been bittersweet, and I kinda feel like I’ve been keeping all God has done ad spoken to me to myself instead of sharing it when it’s time to testify at church. I don’t why!! it’s a really scary place to be in!! I’ve always wanted to be that young person among all the others at church that was a leader, wasn’t afraid to speak up or pray aloud at church, and obey God without hesitation, but I’m not, and I always kinda feel that God wanted me to be, especially with all He’s investigated and spoken to me…… hmm…

      Anyway, Thanks!! Glad you were encouraged also!!

  • “In comparison to fanciful love, active love is a cruel and frightening thing. Fanciful love thirsts for a quick deed, swiftly accomplished… Active love, on the other hand, involves work and self-mastery… But I prophesy to you that at the very moment you behold with horror that in spite of all your efforts, not only have you failed to move towards your goal, but even seem to have grown more remote from it – at that moment, I prophesy to you, you will suddenly reach that goal and discern clearly above you the miracle-working power of the Lord”.

    – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (” The Brothers Karamazov “)

    • Dostoyevsky is one of my favourite for wisdom but also for great novels. Crime and Punishment was so good.
      It is amazing how Russian authors in general weave God into novels in a natural way

  • Hey guys, this is unrelated, but could you pray for me please? I’ve got an awkward decision to make, and I’m really not sure what to do… Thanks very much!

  • Focus on your strengths and share them with others (If you’re a writer write something and post it on social media etc.)

      • @disqus_rxHwcqpiM4:disqus Well, you could always try looking for another way to share your ideas like a blog, a club, or even the newspaper; or if you if writing happens to be your passion you could even try writing a book!

        • Thanks!! I was thinking though, for the type of social media I do have only people I know, mainly Christians, would see it, so I’d probably have to think of another way to reach non-Christians. You know? Any thoughts?

  • This is honestly something I’ve been struggling with as well lately.
    Several people have already said this, but this period can certainly be one of preparing. God equips us for the large tasks with the little ones, and who are we to say that diligently keeping up with our school does not have as much merit in heaven as advocating for the unborn? Both are pleasing to Him, and especially when we are faithful in the things which no one else sees. (Matthew 6:4)
    However, I don’t want to discount that fact that maybe we feel like we aren’t doing anything, because God truly is calling us to be active. Is there something specific God has laid on your heart? If so, pursue it! Perhaps now is not the time, and God won’t open that door right now, but we can still pray actively and boldly for His will to be done. Don’t become content with the complacency of common life.
    We have to balance these two sides out, and it is likely different for different people in different places of their walk. No matter what, pray. Pray for His wisdom, for His guidance, for His will.
    I hope that was somewhat helpful, and made some slight sense!

  • hi im new! this is actually the first discussion i’ve read. i felt the exact same way because we have always believed that we need to serve and spread God’s word through our talents and i know a pretty big talent of mine is acting. besides being in plays and movies to inspire people or as my drama teacher says “to change a life” i couldn’t think of anything. then after praying and talking to my parents i had the idea of writing scripts and skits. i could write a play about what i believe or even for entertainment. i love writing and i think that would be a challenge and a good way to glorify God by keeping it clean and meaningful. another idea i had was to get a group of actors and do scenes from plays/song/skits i have written and just go around at hospitals and rest homes etc. and perform for people that normally can’t go see plays themselves. anywho i hope that helped someone but if not i’m glad i got it out. <3 Avery

  • This is an awesome question, because I think it brings up a point that is quite important. I am really encouraged that even during this time of relative monotony, you are doing things that are impactful. The time when my growth in Christ has been most rapid and steady has been the time when my routines reflect God’s calling on my life. There is an awesome three part series by Levi Lusko of Fresh Life Church called Creature of Habit, and it really encouraged me in my walk, and I think it could be helpful for you. Here’s the URL:

    I’m not necessarily saying to stay where you are, but I thought it is important to keep in mind that this time is very important. God will make it inescapable clear when the wants you to do something big for Him, so keep your eyes open and your heart ready!

  • Wow, this is such a great question! First off, I think it’s crucial to understand that important is a very, very subjective word. What you may think isn’t important, may be important to your Mom, or little brother, or God. Maybe those little things that you have to do now (such as homework, etc.), are really just God’s way of preparing you for something bigger. And if nothing else, remember that God has put you right where you are for a reason. If He’s placed you in front of a desk with a science report to do, then that report is probably at least somewhat important! If He’s placed you in a situation where your Mom asks you to wash the dishes, then doing those dishes may be important!
    Our limited, human perspectives can’t see everything, but God’s can! Maybe that science report is helping to prepare you for a career in apologetics by giving you the resources to refute evolution. Maybe those dishes are God’s way of honing you to become a better husband or wife.
    Even if you don’t know God’s calling on your life yet, He does. And you can rest assured, that no matter how unimportant your daily tasks may seem, God can use even those to prepare you for a life in His service.
    Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s a great reminder! Thanks a ton!! I often forget that truth – that He knows the big picture!!! I may not understand it, or actually like the seemingly unimportant things I do on a daily basis, but God is probably using it for my good. Even the volunteer type things my mom might sign me up for. I may not want to do it, but God is preparing me for something in that!!! I should write this truth down to remember – He knows it all!! He sees the big picture even when I don’t understand!!!!! Thanks again! I really appreciate it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Consider that God weaved us all together in the womb and he intentionally gave us our talents abd our drives (in your case passion to end trafficing etc).
    What I would say is this: consider Jesus said the greatest muracle was not when he fed 5000 or healed the sick or eaised Lazerus, but when one was converted. Its really interesting and disorienting sometimes to look at his priorities vs ours. Something in our minds that is tiny in his, and in the angels, is the world.

  • Whenever we are walking with Christ and doing well, the devil will try to tempt us with the things of the world to make us fall. In times when you are enjoying your relationship with God, and are obeying his commandments, the devil will use a different type of temptation. One that is hard to combat. He will try to confuse us by making us doubt our walk with Christ. He will try to make you feel like what you are doing is not important. That what you are doing is not making a difference. This is when you need to reject Satan and keep serving the Lord. I have found from experience that God will comfort you if you are willing to trust him, even if it seems hopless. Hope I helped answer your question.

  • I wish you happiness and good with all my heart in the world and the Hereafter Please Read the holy quran because it is the words of God. I ask God to guide you to the correct religion And live true happiness Thanks very much

  • Oh love, you are so not alone in this. I’m sure you’ve already been told to check out 1 Timothy 4:12 a dozen times, but try Proverbs 8:11, “For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
    It is hard to wait. At this time I am at a place where, for the first time in my life, things are less of a sprint and more of an endurance-focused walk. It is not easy to slow down and feel like, though you are working hard, you have nothing to show for it. Keep the faith, and enjoy this time for you to take some deep breaths and relax. More hard things will come. For now, God has placed this time in your life for you to recover from what is behind, and prepare for what is ahead.
    You’ve got this!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsโ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More โ†’