Back in January, I was riding home in our cousin’s car from taking a tour with them of Accurate Innovations, the company my dad works for. Uncle Dan, Aunt Lisa, and our cousins David, Brian, Rachel, and Samantha, had come down for the first time in eight years – and what a joy to have them! As we started for home, I noticed a book tucked behind the seat, entitled Do Hard Things. With David’s permission, 🙂 I picked it up and began to read. I only got through the first two chapters or so, but was enthralled! Written by nineteen-year-old twins Alex and Brett Harris, I was amazed with the amount of convicting truth they presented in their message to today’s teen-age young people. Soon after that, I put Do Hard Things on my “hope to get” list, and my parents gave it to me for my birthday. I finished it a few weeks ago, and, though I can’t agree with everything mentioned in the book, the Lord has greatly used it to show me many areas that I have been shrinking back in fear from doing hard things.
So, what is it?
Basically, it is a call to young people to use their youth – their days of strength – for accomplishing HARD things for God’s glory. This has been the pattern throughout history, but somehow, today, we young people have fallen outrageously short, and are even being encouraged, directly or indirectly, to do so. Alex and Brett coined a term for the change they are encouraging us to make: Rebelution. Defined: a teenage rebellion against low expectations. In my opinion, the idea of a rebelution is something that all, not just those between the age of 13 and 19, should take to heart.
Our culture is flooded in low expectations.
By God’s grace, we must begin the raise those expectations. It begins here and now, in our own lives, or it will never happen. Our expectations and goals shouldn’t be based on the society around us, but on the principles and patterns of maturity and godly character found in Scripture, and then we must act upon them.
Our children will thank us someday.
Here are some categories of Hard Things the Harris twins have identified, and some of my favorite things they said about each one:
I. That first scary step: how to do hard things that take you outside your comfort zone.
God works through our weaknesses to accomplish His big plans.
Courage is not the absence of fear.
You can’t get to success without risking failure.
What could your life look like if your trust in God overcame your fears?
How could your life be different if you chose to do hard things outside of your comfort zone?
II. Raising the bar: how to do hard things that go beyond what is expected or required.
We recommend that rebelutionaries do three hard things that go above and beyond what our culture expects and take us closer to what God expects: 1. Do what’s hard for YOU. 2. Be known for what you do (more than for what you don’t do). 3. Pursue excellence, not excuses.
We can identify complacency in our lives by asking ourselves the following hard questions and then answering them honestly:
-What areas of my life do I not care about that I know I should care about?
-In what areas have I fallen short of God’s standards and my own potential?
-In what areas have I settled for just “getting by” when I know I could do better if I really tried?
-In what areas have I decided that things “will always be this way” without ever putting in the kind of effort that really changes things?
III. The Power of Collaboration: how to do hard things that are too big for you to do alone
Don’t overlook home field advantage – family is a God-designed vehicle for collaboration that most miss, even though we’re right in the middle of it.
Credit is free if you give it away. One of the common dangers we’ve come across is that pride (for example, looking for credit or taking offense when we feel overlooked) often sabotages team efforts. What to do? We recommend dealing quickly and respectfully with hurt feelings… and establishing a team code that says, “Credit is free around here, and we GIVE it away!”
Together we can accomplish great things for God, starting today… Pray and plan. Then go for it.
IV. Small Hard Things: how to do hard things that don’t pay off immediately.
Small hard things are the individual repetitions – like a single push-up. They are seemingly insignificant by themselves but guaranteed to get results over time.
Every action, no matter how small, is defining our future harvest…If we’re willing to strive for excellence, even in the boring, repetitive tasks and responsibilities that others delegate or neglect, we will reap the powerful benefits that others miss. Embracing small hard things can make a radical difference.
Your actions… can bring honor and glory to God if you are willing to throw yourself into them 100 percent just because they’re things He has given you to do… The fact that you face those unwanted tasks is not a mistake; it’s an opportunity. And, because God is good, by doing what He has put before you with all your heart, regardless of whether it appears significant or not, you will find yourself benefited and strengthened, ready for the next big thing.
V. Taking a Stand: how to do hard things that go against the crowd
… We need wisdom to understand how to properly evaluate each situation so that we can stand at the right time, for the right thing, and for the right reasons.
If a challenge comes to mind, don’t ignore it. Take a first rebelutionary step. The hard thing you’re contemplating may be the biggest, most difficult, and most rewarding hard thing you’ve ever done. Don’t miss this good thing God is inviting you to do, and don’t tell yourself it doesn’t matter.
Doing what is right always matters – and it matters now.