Every once in awhile I come across a book that just makes sense; Do Hard Things is one such book. I knew something was off in our "entertain me" culture, but could not put my finger on a realistic solution. The Harris brothers have helped shed a bright light on a tangible solution for teenagers to rise above low expectations. While the book's voice and style is geared towards teenagers, it is also a must-read for parents, teachers, and youth workers alike.
The Harris brothers exhort their peers to rebel against status quo and tap into their God-given potential. "Your actions at home, at school, at church, and elsewhere in your community 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" (pg. 144). Alex and Brett share practical advice with peers from their personal experiences with this idea. It is noteworthy to mention that the authors discuss how the small things that we are responsible for can be huge things in God's eyes, "Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great (pg. 139).
Throughout this honest and conversational work, Alex and Brett share inspiring examples of teens who are joining the movement as "rebelutionaries" and taking on the challenge of doing hard things: from refusing to compromise integrity on movie choices, to making an impact in modern-day slavery, to attending a refugee-style camp, to helping provide clean water worldwide.
One of the examples that spoke loudly to me was Brittany Lewin's story. At age seventeen she quite amazingly became a campaign manager for a former U.S. congressmen who was running for reelection to the state board of education. I was inspired that this politician gave her the opportunity of a lifetime and took the risk of placing great responsibility on her (may we all be challenged to believe more in our youth and do likewise). I also love Brittany's profound response to her experience, "As much as I love politics and campaigning, there is not a single political job I could find that would match the joy and satisfaction that comes from following God's special call to be a dedicated wife and mother. Campaigns are won and lost; elections happen every year. I can only do so much myself. What's more inspiring to me is the thought of rebelutionaries across the world raising lots of counterculture, God-fearing, low-expectation-defying children who are constantly doing hard things for God's glory" (pg. 198).
This book would make an outstanding "coming of age" or graduation gift. I know even my young children have benefited from me reading this book, as I strive, even know, to raise them to do hard things (no matter how large or small, seen or unseen).
My high school-aged daughter absolutely loved this book. She has discussed this book a lot with her friends. She spoke with a couple of her teachers about the content. They both liked it as well. One in fact wants to borrow it!!!
This is an excellent book for teens. I am a youth leader & I led my group of high school students through this book. I was impacted along with the teens. There is really something for everyone. After we read the book, we attended one of the Rebelution conferences and the points of the book were reinforced and even more impactful. I have recommended this book to many others... and not just teens. It is an enjoyable read that really makes you think. Well done, Alex & Brett!
Who would expect 19 year olds to provide excellent advice for their generation as well as to older adults who have perhaps lost the zeal of their faith and lowered expectations for themselves as well as "TEENS". Do the Hard Things challenges every Christian, every human being to do those things once thought impossible, or improbable, to change the lives of others as well themselves. Let's stop dumbing down America. Let us truly live what we believe--"All things are possible through Christ that strenghtens me!"