Clayton McDonald was taken from the earth to eternal glory on March 16 at age 18. These videos are powerful because they show a young man who saw life more clearly than most people.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” — James 4:13-15
As if the book wasn’t good enough, Alex and Brett Harris are now providing a study guide (for free!):
If you’re like us, talking with others about what you’re reading helps you decide what you think and how to respond to what a book is saying. This chapter-by-chapter study guide is intended to help you do just that.
Use it for personal study, if you wish, but we think it works best in a group. And the best group is one where you’re surrounded by others who care about the same things you do and are ready to put truth into action.
Don’t feel you have to process every question. It’s not a test, and as often as not, there’s no one right answer. Also, don’t let our questions limit what you ask or where you go. Ask God to direct your thoughts and decisions. And ask Him for courage — lots of it. Because big ideas are weak ideas if we’re not willing to let them shape how we think and live.
So use this study guide to zero in on the ideas, choices, and actions that seem most promising and helpful to you and your friends. Then expect great things to happen in your lives as you do hard things for the glory of God!
Your Fellow Rebelutionaries,
Alex and Brett
Both my son and daughter are reading through it and I look forward to going through the study guide with them. Thanks, Alex and Brett, for a great book and resource. Keep the mission!
Alex and Brett Harris, teen authors of “Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations,” recently were interviewed about their book and other things on Tell Me More on NPR. Here are some things they talked about:
Can you do hard things yet still find time to relax?
How does doing hard things relate to their faith?
What five types of hard things do they say you should do?
What’s the hardest thing they’ve done lately?
What’s next for them?
Their involvement with the Mike Huckabee campaign
What motivated them to think about “doing hard things.”
I’ve been reading through Alex and Brett Harris’ book “Do Hard Things” and I can’t overstate how much I like it and strongly recommend it. As a parent of a teenager, I am constantly doing battle with our culture’s low expectations for them so it is encouraging to see two young men who are giving a great message that we all need to hear.
One of the things Alex and Brett talk about is that the whole idea of a special class of people called “teenagers” is a 20th century idea that has strongly taken root. In their research for the book, they discovered that even the word “teenager” did not exist publicly until 1941 and that, in an effort to protect children from cruel labor laws at the turn of the 20th century and instill universal education, we created a period where children are not yet adult but no longer children. We created the low expectations. In “America in So Many Words,” it is described this way:
Thus the years ending in -teen became something new and distinctive … The teenager remade our world. The concept is … subversive: why should any teenager enjoying freedom submit to the authority of adults? With the discovery of this new age, ours has been the century of the teenager ever since.
What does the Bible say about teenagers? Absolutely nothing. But it is not silent about youth and expectations. Instead, in I Corinthians 13:11 it says: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” Furthermore, in I Timothy 4:12 it says: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” And finally, in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world!”
What does our culture say? There is a joke that if Hollister (or American Eagle) said breathing was uncool, 92 percent of all teens would be dead. So, maybe it’s time for all of us to start thinking more highly and expecting more from these people we call teenagers. I leave you with the wisdom from I Corinthians 14:20:
Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.