Review: Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
Alex and Brett Harris have called for a REBELUTION! In Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, they write: “Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book . And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. WE DO!”
After years of school activities, Alex and Brett's parents decided that it was time to move on with their lives. So at 16 and with a summer of nothing, their dad put the twin brothers on an “intense reading program.” The books covered a variety of topics designed to fill their minds “with exciting — and at the same time troubling — thoughts about [their] rapidly changing world and [their] generation's place in it.” This was the beginning of a life-changing journey that took them to the Alabama Supreme Court, founding TheRebelution.com, speaking in Japan, the writing of this book, and starting a nation wide conference tour.
This book shatters our cultural idea of “adolescence” and challenges teenagers with doing 5 kinds of hard things:
1. Things that are outside your comfort zone.
“These actions can challenge us because they are unfamiliar or even scary, but they usually become some of our greatest memories.”
2. Things that go beyond what is expected or required.
“These actions are hard because they rest entirely on our own initiative.”
3. Things that are too big to accomplish alone.
“We're passionate about these because God has placed them on our hearts.”
4. Things that don't earn an immediate payoff.
“They're hard because you won't see much progress from one day to the next and because, especially at the time, it can seem like you'd be happier if your didn't do them.”
5. Things that challenge the cultural norm.
“These choices are hard because they can cost your popularity and friendships…But the payoff is huge: if we do them, we can change the course of history.”
Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations is a book that will not only challenge teenagers but also adults who work with teens, like myself. It challenges my own ideas about teenagers and how I can encourage doing “hard things” in their lives whether at church, school, or home. “Doing hard things is not just for people who believe the Bible,” Alex writes, “but we would never have written this book or encouraged you to do hard things if we didn't have a Bible-Shaped, gospel-driven view of life.” Front to back, you will be challenged to encourage your small group, leadership team, or family with doing hard things, all while glorifying God with your life!
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