Do Hard Things

by Samuel Brooks

What does it mean to do “hard things”? As a Christian, how do I do hard things for Christ?

Another book that I received from my brother and sister-in-law last Christmas, along with Not a Fan, is called Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by brothers Alex and Brett Harris. Yes, you read that right; the book is targeted towards teens mostly. However, I still found the content of the book to be applicable towards us adults, too. I’ve also found that Not a Fan and Do Hard Things had similarities between them even though the content between the two was presented differently, so I recommend reading both of these books together if you get the chance to.

To give a brief example from the book, on pages 57-59, it describes the five kinds of hard. These are described as “God-given opportunities powered by God-given principles that work for everybody.” These five kinds of hard with examples are as follows:

1. Things that are outside your comfort zone – Anything that “takes you out of your day-to-day routine” (e.g. public speaking, learning a new skill, traveling to new places, or meeting new people).

2. Things that go beyond what is expected or required – Anything that “rests entirely on your initiative” (e.g. volunteering, staying late at work without pay to help a co-worker finish a job, or performing household chores that you’re not assigned).

3. Things that are too big to accomplish alone – “We must be able to share our passion with others and recruit them to work alongside us” (e.g. organizing a rally, making a film, forming a teen ministry to the homeless, changing your school’s policy on a key issue, campaigning to get a shock jock off the air, starting a band or business, fighting modern-day slavery, abortion, or poverty and AIDS in Africa).

4. Things that don’t earn an immediate payoff – Anything that “can seem like you’d be happier if you didn’t do them because you won’t see much progress from one day to the next. These tasks are ones that no one else often sees and don’t win you recognition or praise” (e.g. fighting sin, working out, doing your schoolwork, obeying your parents (or boss), being faithful in your spiritual disciplines, expending energy on good study habits, or driving the speed limit even when you’re late).

5. Things that challenge the cultural norm – These choices “can cost you popularity, friendships, and even your life in some countries.” You have to care more about pleasing God than the people around you (e.g. dressing modestly, saying no to premarital sex and drugs (including marijuana), holding unpopular positions on issues like homosexuality and abortion, refusing to watch R- and NC-17 rated movies, sharing the Gospel with others, and living as an obvious Christian).

Samuel, The forward is written by Chuck Norris. So you know it is going to be good. “…cause the eyes of a ranger are upon you. Any wrong you do, he’s gonna see…” Had to throw that in there. Alyssa and I hope you enjoy this book! May you feel challenged to do hard things for the glory of God! With love from your sibs, Jackson and Alyssa

Side note: If you don’t recognize that lyric, it’s from the theme song of Walker, Texas Ranger. Those that know me know that I’m a HUGE Chuck Norris fan, and Walker was one of the TV shows that we watched growing up every Saturday (I even own all 8 seasons of the series on DVD). Plus, I’ve read two of his books, Black Belt Patriotism and Against All Odds, and the organization where I studied Tae Kwon Do was founded by one of the individuals that trained Chuck Norris in Korea during his time serving in the Air Force. I think that this is one of the reasons that my brother and sister-in-law gave me this book…and they’re right in what they said 🙂

All things aside, as a Christian, what’s hard for you? In what areas are you weak in where you have an opportunity to grow? Is it fighting an addiction? Is it attending and getting more involved in church? Organizing a Bible study or Home Fellowship Group? Praying more often? Reading and studying Scripture? Loving others (including your enemies)? Repenting and asking for forgiveness (or even forgiving others)? Taking that step to get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and/or the infilling of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in other tongues? Public speaking? I could continue this never ending list but it’s up to you to dig down and answer the question of “what’s hard for me” and then taking the necessary steps to improve.

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