rebelling against low expectations

Five Hard Things to Do This Summer


When we’re caught up in Rebelutionary living and striving to do big, hard, risky things, it’s easy to forget the why.

Why leave our comfort zones?

Why live radically?

Why do hard things?

Because Jesus breathed life into our dead souls (John 5:24) and calls us to live for his glory (1 Corinthians 15:49).

This gospel characterizes the Rebelutionary. It breeds radical intentionality. In a lazy and lethargic generation, it brands our lives with purpose.

And this Christ-empowered purpose is a year-round mission. As the earth tilts its way into summer, I can’t think of a better time to start living for Christ than now.

Here are five ways to spend your summer intentionally for him:

1. Read God’s Word every day.

We can’t live intentionally without immersing ourselves in the commands and promises and truths of God. We can’t rebel against low expectations without studying how Jesus lived counterculturally. Reading Scripture is vital, and reading it every day is a beautiful way to spend our summer.

So set aside ten or twenty or forty-five minutes, and start reading the Bible as it was meant to be read. Read it like a book—from one cover to another, from Genesis to the maps at the end.

“O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day… Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:97, 105).

2. Take on a challenge.

Last summer, I decided to write more. I challenged myself to write 500 words every day. My July afternoons were spent typing articles and scribbling thoughts into my journal. The challenge stretched me, grew me, and equipped me.

Scripture is brimming with examples of young people who faced challenges. Just as God tested David and Jeremiah and Daniel and Mary and Timothy, he wants to train us for a life pleasing to him.

So try writing every day. Run a mile each morning. Read more books. Or take on the summer challenge of delving deeper into God’s Word.

3. Build Relationships.

Few things shape a young person more than their friends (Proverbs 13:20). Usually, this truth is a warning to choose our companions wisely. But there’s another angle here.

What type of friend are we?

Do we carve out time for relationships? Do we speak truth into our peers’ lives? Are we a healthy example of a godly friend?

Why not use our summer days to edify our friends? Go for ice cream. Head to the pool. Schedule a weekly Bible study. And all the while, pour gospel truth into their lives.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…” (Colossians 3:16a)

4. Go outside.

King David was a stargazer. It’s obvious he spent time outdoors, basking beneath the sky’s wonders.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2).

Summer nights are ripe with the wonders God creates. It takes time to relish nature in a way that leads our hearts to worship him. But it’s time well spent.

5. Don’t abuse your free time.

I’m counting down the days to a family trip out West. My goal is to unplug, unwind, and relish God’s awe-inspiring creation. Vacation is a beautiful thing. Time off work, days unplanned, nights under the stars—they refresh me.

Summer free time is undoubtedly a gift. But as with any other good, God-given thing, we must not abuse it. We must redeem it.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Wasting our summer hours on fleshly passions causes us to blend in with an evil culture. Let’s instead use our fun and free time carefully, for Christ.

Spend Your Summer Intentionally

For Christian Rebelutionaries, every act is vital. Every word speaks volumes. People are watching how we work, walk, talk, and worship. And whether we realize it or not, unbelievers are watching how we spend our summer.

Let us not forget the “why” behind our Rebelutionary mission. Instead, may we spend our summer days intentionally, as young people saved by Jesus.

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About the author

Bethany J. Melton

writes from her brick home on Edgewood Road, where she reads books and takes walks and plants things that sometimes sprout. You can find her words about Truth, Hope, and Home in a pocket of the Internet called Bethany J's Journal.

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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 →