rebelling against low expectations

Who We Are Becoming Matters


“Sorry, I’m actually busy.”

Most of us have said this before, and in some ways it’s a really good thing. It’s far better to try new things, “challenging” or “more difficult” things and things that matter for eternity if you will, instead of doing nothing.

However, if you’re trying to do everything you’re asked to do, you’ll get drained faster than you may think. For example, say your church is low on volunteers, but because you want to meet the need, maybe you’ll try to make ends meet.

But here’s the thing: give it enough time, you’ll get tired. At that point, what do you do?

Before I go further, I want to explain that there is a difference between “just doing things” and doing things out of an identity as a son or daughter of God.

If you’re “just doing things”, it comes from either wanting people to see you as a “hard working religious person” or someone who knows to do as they ought.

On the other hand, If you’re doing things out of an identity rooted in Jesus, you enjoy doing what you’re doing because you’re loved and you see the bigger picture behind what you’re doing.

I wonder, however, how much of our time is spent simply doing things than actually seeing who we are becoming?

Because, I don’t know about you, but most of my time outside of working is spent planning and executing things to encourage others as a leader in Youth Ministry and mentoring students. I see myself becoming someone who worries more about what to get done and making sure it gets done.

Pastor Crawford Loritts once said,

“On your way to accomplishing something you must become someone.”

This is to say, as we try to do more things, we must see who we are becoming.

It’s significant in that the imperative is attached more on “becoming” rather than the “accomplishing”.

Although I love this surge of teenagers and young adults “doing hard things”, let’s never forget that who we are becoming matters just as much, if not even more, than how many things we are doing.

In fact, recently, I noticed that I was doing so much in serving and mentoring, as I was spending time preparing for weekly gatherings and meeting up with students.

After a while, I began to notice that I’d become really tired and I also started seeing the early symptoms of burnout. So one day I decided to go off for a few hours and drive to a nearby hiking trail. I took some grapes, a water bottle and my Bible, read from Romans 8 and Psalm 19 and simply spent one-on-one time with God.

In my time with God, I am simply reminded of his promises and just how vast and big he is.

When I see the bigger picture of what God is doing, I’m reminded that I don’t have to carry expectation, criticism or feeling “burnout”. But rather, that he’s holding me and he still calls me Son.

I am becoming someone who knows that he can always come back to his Father.

Jesus says it like this to his disciples in John 15:5

“ I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (ESV)

If what we do as God’s children is more about “bearing fruit” or doing things that make a lasting impact for eternity than abiding in the vine (Jesus), we’re really working in vain.

How Do we Do it?
A few tips on checking up on who we’re becoming in Christ are:

  1. Write it in your Calendar. Intentionally block off a few hours or a whole day to simply be in God’s word and instead of getting things done, focus on who God is, your identity in Christ and what the Holy Spirit is saying to you via the Bible.
  2. Pray. This may sound like a “cliché Christian answer”, but if prayer is more like a dialogue than a “spiritual wish list”, then we learn to align our wills to God’s will, rather than changing God’s will to fit in ours.
  3. We Need Each Other. Be real with someone about who you’re becoming. Have a brother or sister in Jesus whom you can just be honest and vulnerable with. No, these kinds of relationships don’t happen overnight, but in the long run, they’ll help you in this journey of becoming more than you’re doing.

Friends, God calls us his children. He is our loving father and he wants to spend time with us. Abide in him. Enjoy sitting with Dad and let him shape you for wherever you are in this journey as a “rebelutionary”.

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Photo courtesy of Barta IV and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Nathan Park

is originally from the Bay Area, CA and is now currently a student at the University of California, San Diego. As a visiting barista at Philz Coffee, he occasionally enjoys a cup of New Manhattan while writing in his journal. He is currently attending and pursuing membership at Lighthouse Bible Church, San Diego. One of his greatest joys is spending time with his brother by either listening to music or getting food together.


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  • Amen. It is so easy to fall into the trap of “doing hard things” for the sake of self-progress, which is a good thing, but should not be the ultimate thing. If you are simply doing hard things for self-progress, when the trials come and the walls appear burnout is inevitable.

    • Mmmh that’s so good! And brother, we are simply invited to that Greater Purpose. Thankful to hear you out and blessings to you 🙂

  • Thanks for writing this! It’s such a great reminder of how we can get wrapped up in ourselves, but still think we’re doing things that glorify God. We ultimately need to give up our selves, and realize our identity again. Its a cycle we probably will go through many times in our life.The truth can be disguised so often, and He is the only one that stays the same.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. It’s so good that we are first invited to “BE” before we “DO”. God is such a good father that we can still run to him, even when our motives are mixed or when we feel deeply tired. Blessings 😀

  • Wow, great reminder, Nathan. I like the part about becoming and not just accomplishing. When we become who God has made us to be everything else will fall in place. Thanks for that encouragement!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this Ashley! It’s so easy to slip between either becoming or accomplishing. Also, it’s kinda crazy because our society does tell us that who we are comes from what we do. Rather in the kingdom, what we do comes out of who we are! Blessings sister 😀

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read it Amanda! I hope this encouraged you in some way with your walk with Jesus 😀

  • ” In everything you do, check your intention “. You may think your doing it for God but the fact is your doing it for yourself.

    • Mmmh….for sure for sure! As we learn of these dangers, we’re so much more aware of what’s truly in our hearts and what God is doing in our lives! Blessings 😀

    • Hi Cristos! thank you for reaching out to me, I have sent an email to you. Haha, blessings to you brother!

By Nathan Park
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 →