In their book, Do Hard Things, teenagers Alex and Brett Harris challenge their generation to live above the expectations of their culture. They expose the “Myth of Adolesence,” insisting that the teen years ought not to be a vacation from responsibility but rather an opportunity to do hard things for the glory of God. The five hard things comprising their call to “Rebelution” are:
*Things that take you outside your comfort zone–taking risks to grow
*Things that go beyond what’s expected or required–pursuing excellence
*Things that are too big to accomplish alone–dreaming and daring big
*Things that don’t earn an immediate payoff–being faithful and choosing integrity
*Things that go against the cultural norm–taking a stand for what is right
As the authors define it, the word rebelution “combine[s] rebellion and revolution to form an entirely new word for an entirely new concept: rebelling against rebellion. More precisely, we define rebelution as ‘a teenage rebellion against low expectations.'” As founders of TheRebelution.com, the Harris twins have themselves taken up the challenge of daring to do hard things. Their blog is now among one of the most widely read teenage sites on the web.
In additon to their own example, the book offers several stories of teenagers around the world rebelling against low expectations and catching a vision of living beyond what is expected or required to effect personal and social change. Far from being testimony after testimony along the lines of “Look how successful I am; maybe you can be too!” these stories of real life kids read as just that: real life kids determining to forgo the easy to do the hard for the glory of God.
This book echoes the cry of my heart for my own children. How I pray that they will have the courage and passion to do the hard thing of following Jesus in the midst of a culture that denies and even despises His Lordship. I long for my boys to live different as radical rebelutionaries seeking the glory of God as they carry the gospel to their generation.
I pray this for my children even as I confess I do not teach them to live so. Complacency tempts me to mediocrity and there I stay. While this is a book by teens for teens, it has also served to bring a healthy dose of conviction to me, one who has lived beyond the teen years for two decades, yet one who longs to do hard things for the glory of God as well.
My oldest boy is now reading Do Hard Things. I pray he will. I pray God will pierce the hearts of my sons’ generation, and ignite in them a fiery passion for His Son Jesus that cannot be quenched. May He engulf them with a holy awe of His greatness, His power, and His holiness. May they leave behind the lesser things of this world and pursue the one thing that is needful, Him, His Presence, His Word, with abandon. May they dare to do hard things…
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob…