rebelling against low expectations

What Success Really Looks Like


“10 easy steps to fame.”

“How to make your post go viral.”

“Top tips to make your name known.”

Messages like this bombard us constantly.

We’ve all heard how to be successful.

How to make your music known. How to write and publish a bestseller.

The world tells us we must be known. We must leave a mark with our name written all over it. This is the secular philosophy of our world, but it doesn’t stay there.

You’re told how to be successful in Christian circles too. Unfortunately, what you hear there is not so different to what the world says. The effectiveness of ministries is decided by the amount of people they reach. An author can say he/she has reached their goals when they have a certain number of followers on Instagram. A good Christian musician is the one whose name everyone recognizes.

Is this the way it is supposed to be?

“Of course not!” you say, and I agree with you. But deep down do we really believe that, or do we secretly follow these schemes of successfulness?

Do we measure the value of what we do for Christ the way the world measures success? By the number of subscribers our newsletters have? By the number of followers on social media? By the number of encouraging text messages we send a week?

Do we secretly want our name to be known?

Recently I had an interesting thought that challenged me.

What if?

What if God does not want me to write a bestseller? What if I am meant to serve in the deepest jungle without my name ever being known? What if every single lesson I teach to children remains seemingly fruitless? What if?

What if only one person comes to Christ through me in my entire life? What if not a single person does? What if that is God’s plan for my life?

Is it still worth it? Is the hard work I put into that book worth it? Are the tears I cry over the children I play with at camps worth it? Are the years of perseverance still worth it?

Is Jesus still worth it?

The Bible tells us to do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), but that is easier said than done.

What if I should get absolutely no human praise my entire life? Is Jesus still worth it to me? Is he enough for me? I want to be able to say “yes, yes, Jesus is worth everything.” Because he is!

In a world that screams, “Get your name out there!” it can be hard at times to surrender our dreams and hopes about that bestselling novel and the song on the charts. It can be hard to say, “Lord, I trust your plan because I know it is good.”

Isaiah 55:9 tells us, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

But that’s not it.

It needs more. It not only needs saying, “Father, your plans are good”, but “Father, your plans are better.

God does not make mistakes. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Yes, that does include that song that will never make even one hundred clicks on YouTube, let alone the charts. Yes, it does include that little blog you have that seems to get only a few views a month—much less than you would want it to have. And yes, that does include that non-bestselling book that might not even sell more than fifty copies.

Is Jesus still worth our hard work? Our sweat? Our tears?

Even if what we are doing doesn’t seem to be successful in the world’s eyes? Even if?

Answer the question for yourself.

Is Jesus worth your everything?

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About the author

Sarah Susanna Rhomberg

is a teen who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children – always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. Connect with her through her email list here.

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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 →