rebelling against low expectations

Elisabeth Starr: Why Do You Do Hard Things?


Elisabeth splits her time between Tennessee and the Oregon coast. She contributes to the group blog Rebelutionaries. We thought this post — especially her questions at the end — were important. We want (and she wants) to hear from all of you.

It’s easy to join a cause. When you first read Do Hard Things it’s easy to be moved and say “Yeah, I’m a part of the Rebelution!” It sounds so impressive. It’s easy to say to yourself or even to other people, “I’m rebelling against low expectations.” It’s harder to internalize the truths of the Rebelution. And it’s very hard to make changes in your life to reflect those truths.

Sometimes being part of a movement like the Rebelution feels really great because there is so much excitement and support surrounding the project. There are blogs and forums you can turn to for encouragement. And reading the stories of other successful rebelutionaries really motives us to keep the idea alive. Rebelling against low expectations sounds so glamorous!

But somehow it feels a lot less glamorous when you are forcing yourself to get out of bed in the morning or when you’re passing up that awesome pair of shoes because you know you should curb your spending habits. The idea is exciting. The implementation is not. The Rebelution isn’t about the glamorous, it’s about the nitty-gritty. It’s not only about ideas, it’s about actions.

It’s the actions that are the hard part. So how do you channel that excitement you first felt when you discovered the Rebelution into action? How do you keep the enthusiasm coming day after day as you do the same small hard things? I suggest that the only way to do this is that you have to have a reason for doing hard things. You have to have that one thing to look at and say “Yes, that’s why I’m doing this.”

So why? Why are you trying to challenge yourself? What is the point? What is your reason? Why are you a rebelutionary? I’d love to hear your answers.

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • I have several reasons for ‘doing hard things’ and believe me they vary daily. I’m Roman Catholic and in my faith we believe that doing something out of your comfort zone(such as doing the dishes without being told or asked to) can be offered (like a sacrifice or gift) up to God for some special intention. So when I wake up in the morning and say my morning prayers I think about who or what I want to help today, be it an end to abortion or a friend whose mother is dying, etc…that way when I’m teetering on whether or not I really want to abstain or contribute in some way, I think of that intention and it usually inspires/motivates me to ‘do hard things’ and God sees all, and He knows why I’m trying to do hard things and for that reason He helps me because He is pleased (as is shown in the Bible) when people go out of there way to help one another. This morning I told God that I’d like to offer up the good I do today for my sister and her intended that they may have a blessed marriage.

  • When I get discouraged in my struggle to “do hard things”, it helps me to meditate on the cross. When I think of all that Jesus gave up for me so that I could know him and learn to be like him, it really helps to make my little nitty-gritty tasks more worthwhile.

  • I was so excited when I left the Maryland Conference!!! It was so AWESOME! Thanks so much Alex and Brett!!! I want to Do Hard Things that honor God! So I’m challenging myself. A hard thing for me to do is reading. I know that it’s very important to read and expand my knowledge. Also, when I tell my friends about Do Hard Things and the Rebelution they’re like, ‘I still don’t get it’ and ‘I can’t understand it’…why do hard things? Rebel against low expectations and Do Hard Things for the glory of God!!!! When we hear about Do Hard Things we get excited, let’s not let the excitement fade!! Thanks for such an awesome post Elisabeth!!!

    P.S. Hope you guys are having fun at college! I’ll keep praying for you.

    Soli Deo Gloria!
    ~Sarah Elizabeth

  • I thnk Sarah said a good bit of what I was thinking. Sitting back, doing the minimum of what’s expected of us, and being, quite frankly, lazy, does not being honour or glory to God. And isn’t that our sole purpose? To glorify His name? That’s why.

  • I’ve heard it said once “we’re human beings, not human doings.” Our actions display who we are just like the fruit off a tree provides proper identification. It’s true, when I don’t want to do hard things I should just do them anyway, but rather than pouring all my effort into changing the fruit I look to see what’s wrong with the tree. Sometimes I just need a little extra motivation, but usually my actions are the first indicator that I should once again have God to examine my heart and see if there is any offensive way in me. The Christian who truly loves the Lord will be doing hard things whether or not they’ve heard of the Rebelution–and that’s a good thing!

  • I don’t just want to sit on the couch and play video games. I want to do something with my life. before, I was in my happy little bubble, unwilling to come out. I have now done several things that were way out of my comfort zone. I have confidence now. I am shocked by teens of today. I think stepping out of my comfort zone has made me a more confident, happy person. I will be glad and nervous at the same time to do it again.

  • I do hard things because it is a commandment from God. Daniel 11:32 says “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”.

  • Why do I do hard things? Why devote your teen years, and ultimately your whole life, to a whole bunch of hard, nasty work? For me, what drives me is not the thought that, yeah, in the future I’ll look back and I won’t regret it. I mean come on, that’s the future. When the present is a dry desert, we don’t look at the mirage of the future and drink its fountains.

    So if not that, then what does? It helps me a lot when the small hard things are building up (and my temper with them) to take a step back, look at the universe, think of the stars – if the earth were the size of a golfball, to fill a star the size of Sirius (well, I think that was the one) you’d need to have enough gold balls to fill Mt. Everest. And you’re a microscopic spec on that golf ball. And God is so much, much bigger…as are His plans for me.

    If it’s even possible, there’s something that drives me even harder than that: the JOY I get in working for His glory. It’s impossible for people who have never done hard things to expirence the satisfaction, the encouragement, the motivation, and yes the utter joy that comes from getting dirty for God.

    (just the little thought of the day)

  • Ultimately, I do hard things to bring glory to God. I know, that answer is becoming cliche, but it is true. Each day my prayer is that the things I do will bring glory to God. And often, God is most glorified in things I wouldn’t necessarily want to do, things that are hard and uncomfortable. Yet if they’re what He has called me to do, then they are what will bring Him glory. And in doing these things, I ultimately find the most joy when it is all said and done.

    Also, I do hard things because the small things I do now are helping me become disciplined and diligent in life. I know that discipline is an important thing to learn, something that will help greatly in the future. So, many hard things are done because I know that it will bring rewards in the future.

  • I was so excited when I found out about ‘Do Hard Things’. I came up with all these ideas for my life. I told all my friends about do hard things and they were just like, ‘What again does it mean?’, ‘why do you like it so much?’, and ‘sounds boring’. It discouraged me for a little bit, but then I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing hard things?’ The Answer.
    I don’t want to live my life with no purpose. I want to change the world in some way. I don’t want to sit around for the rest of my life thinking about doing things. I want to be an excellent worker for God and for my parents. And I don’t like leaving things undone, so that pushes me to finish the hard things that I think about. So to put it simply, I do hard things because I want my life to be worth living.

  • I just finished your book a week ago. Only after the first chapter I was hooked on it and couldn’t stop reading. I’ve always known that this world doesn’t really expect much from us teens but I really never thought about it. Your book really got me thinking and noticing small things in my life that I could be doing better in. Even just around the house. I’m generally kind of lazy and I do some chores here and there but I never go the extra mile or do extra chores. But since reading your book I’ve been actually noticing things that I should be doing AND I actually do them! That wood pile in the backyard is actually stacked after sitting there all summer! And the garage, it’s actually clean! I’ve wrote ‘Rebelution’ across my forearm as a quick reminder for times when I want to give up. It helps! Thanks SO much for your book! I’ll defiantly be sharing it with my friends. But yes, I’ve decided to do hard things to honor God and so that I can look back at my teenage years and actually be happy with how I lived them.


    P.S. Hope you guys have fun at collage!
    I have a friend going there as a freshmen this year.
    Maybe you’ll meet her!

  • Because God wants us to be all that we can be.
    Hard to say no to someone who created you and knows you inside and out, right?

  • I try to do it because God likes it when we do things to honor Him, hard or not. I know I enjoy making my earthly father happy–how much more should I enjoy making my Heavenly Father happy? The Bible says our goal in life is to please God in everything we do. On a side note, I’ve found that for me a good standard is to theoretically ask myself, “Is God smiling or frowning as I do this?”

  • First, let me say I don’t yet consider myself a rebelutionary, rather, a rebelutionary-in-training. I’m still a bit lazy for the full title. Doing big hard things sounds easy compared to little hard things (such as counting to ten before exploding at my sister). However, I do not want to sink into low expectations. I want to do something during my teen (and then adult) years. I want to prepare for the rest of my life. And, most importanly, I want to follow God, despite the many difficuties on the path. To sum it up, I want to become the best I can be, and to do that, I have to do hard things. Now, if I could just pound that into my head and live it out daily…

  • I have 2 reasons for doing hard things.

    1. To glorify God. I have only one life to live. Why would I want to spend a good part of it just “having fun”? My Savior gave His life for me and I don’t want to waste even a part of it. I want to live my life for Jesus alone so that when I reach the end of my life He can “see the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” ANYTHING (small or great) I do for Christ delights His heart and becomes treasure in heaven. Anything I do for my own glory is gone when I die. The most scary thing I can think of is one day standing before the Lover of my soul and have nothing to offer Him.

    2. I don’t want to waste my life! Living my life for my own pleasure, never stepping outside my comfort zone, is just that. Doing things that actually make a difference is exciting and rewarding!! But I don’t want to live my life to the fullest so that I can say, “Ah ha ha ha, I did’nt waste my life! Gold star for you, B!!” Living for that purpose alone would be wasting my life because any life spent treasuring self instead of treasuring God is wasted. So really my 2 reasons are one: I want to glorify God by living the fullest life I can for Him!


  • I just read the attached article, which was awesome, but wanted to mention something about one of the passages you used. This might not have been your intention, but when I read James 1:2 and the following paragraphs, to me–this is only my worthless opinion– it seemed as if it had been used a little out of context. That verse, I think, is encouraging Christians who are being persecuted or are going through some kind of rough spot. I don’t think that that verse is saying that we should go and pursue hard things. Of course, I agree with everything the Rebelution stands for, but it still does seem that James 1:2 isn’t the best support for it. It says “WHEN we have trials,” not “pursue trials.”

    My big sister had been struggling very recently about whether to major in Chemistry, which she is skilled in but does not like at all, or History, which she loves. She actually struggled over that same verse, but after talking to her pastor, came to the conclusion that the verse doesn’t mean we should always pursue the harder choice, but rather be comforted when we are indeed encountered by tough situations.

  • For me I have a few reasons. The biggest one I think would be that I don’t want to waste my life. I want everyday to count. I don’t want to stand before God someday… who knows how long from now… and know that I could have done so much more with my life. I don’t want to be like the man John Piper tells about in “Don’t Waste Your Life” who after he came to Christ realized that he had wasted it. I want God to look on my life and be happy that I used it to bring glory to him by doing hard things. I want to live my life poured out for God, and one of those ways is by doing hard things.

    Another reason is that to prepare for my future someday. We all have things that we want to do, and we need to work now to do them. For me that includes practicing my violin, a tedious task that I often do not care for, because I want to teach music someday. Things like building up patience and doing things with good attitudes is so important for the rest of our lives. If we want to be able to treat others in our lives with respect and learn to get along with them, we need to practice with our families. We also need to remember that how we treat our families now is how we are going to treat our future family.

    I think we can all get caught up in the glamor and excitement of the big things. I know I tend to want to do the things like making movies, freeing slaves, joining a band, then cleaning my room, not fighting with my sister, and cutting back on computer time. A good rebelutionary friend of mine, his dad is very good at making sure the basic things are taken care of before getting into the big projects. His two sons that are amazing guys and die hard rebelutionaries, one of them is working on a big project right now, and the other is just working at the small things. Their dad knows what things they can each handle and once they show themselves worthy of the next task he gives it to him.

    Well that got very long. I know you must have many comments to read and just a lot of stuff to do in general.
    In Christ,

  • Why do hard things?
    I do hard things because it is a way to stand out in the darkness. It’s being the Salt or Light for Jesus, showing others that there really is more to life. To glorify God by differing from everybody else around you.


  • I understand, and know how you feel. Doing hard things is great but yes can be very hard to do. I recently started my own little blog,
    And the theme really is the hard things I’m faced every day and how I deal with it. Through this project I have really come to see that doing hard things is the call for all of us but without a reason like you said they are just good activities. On day by day my motto is,
    “The Christian life is not a call to Spiritual activities; a Bible study here, a mission trip there. It is a call to die to self and be bound with Christ, Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second…”
    We are to be heavenly minded and not living for this passing world but for a higher place. If you think about doing it for Christ and not just our own self esteem, if you think about others, if you think about the call of a Christian you will find yourself very slowly coming to a place where serving and doing things like getting up at 5:30 for devotions, or babysitting for free, etc, is a lot less like a chore and becomes a blessing.
    Doing hard things isn’t fun. That’s why it’s called hard.
    We are called to be like Jesus and He died. That was the hardest thing anyone has ever done. He cried out, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
    That is what doing hard things is about. Not being apart of a website, not going to a conference, not even a mission trip but saying, “Jesus, work in me and bring me to a place I would never have imagined. Not my will but yours be done.”
    It’s scary but exciting…

  • *looks at the past month or so when she’s been spending more time on another website than on the Rebelution*
    well, i dont know how too anwer. i dont think i’ve done my best. but from now on, it will be a consious effort on my part to keep the exitment of the Rebelutionary idea in all the rebelutionary actions!

    ~Amber Lynn

  • Simply put, I do hard things to honour God. Everything I do should be done to honour God.

    As for small hard things, those are foundational to big hard things. How can you be genuine in a “big” thing if you can not remain genuine in the “small” things of everyday life?
    Can you organize a large function if you can’t organize your bedroom?
    Is it true patience you show your boss or co-workers when you can’t keep your cool with your parents or siblings?
    How can you find the time to preach the gospel if you can’t find the time to read your Bible?

  • The reason why I try to do hard things is because I want to make a difference in the world. I want to be remembered. I don’t just want to be a face in the crowd, because I’ve been majorly over-exposed to being one. And if you’re just surfing the Internet and came upon this site, TRUST ME that if you read Do Hard Things, you will DEFINITELY see yourself at least once. This book is an UNBELIEVABLY amazing head-start to doing hard things.

  • We don’t have an option to not do hard things. We all deserve to be condemended spiritually becsuse we make mistakes, but God gave us one way so that he can overlook our sin and have a real relationship with him through baptism. Now we have to honor him in every single aspect of our life and doing hard things can relate to every part of your life:
    integrity at school, modesty in clothing choices, purity in relationships, putting forth the most effort in school, not cursing, sacrificing a 1/2 hour of my day to God, pursuing not popularity but genuine friendships to girls or guys who need a friend, putting up people instead of bringing them down, going to youth group events instead of hanging out with friends.
    Being a true and genuine christian means that you do tons of hard things everyday. Making sacrifices for my savior and the God who should hate me, not love me is why I pursue hard things.
    Also, setting good examples for your non-christian friends (they might claim they’re a christian but it could still be fake) will make them question why you made your life hard instead of taking it easy. Then even though they might be stubborn now about converting, one day at least one soul might be given to God. And one life is definently worth it.
    So get a move on, and do hard things. It starts at home and branches as the hard things increase.
    Even if you don’t get praise or reward on earth for doing hard things, God’s applauding in heaven and preparing a trophy for you when you are in heaven with him some day. Soooooooooo comforting.

  • I whole heartedly agree with what Liz and Hannah have to say about it. I believe that we should do things for God’s glory and to point others to Him. Hard things start at home (holding my tongue when I really could give my sister a good slam is one God’s been teaching me), and then God will give us even bigger things to do. Probably people will think that we’re doing it just to be recognized and we might get ridiculed. But I believe that God likes it when His kids think big and go against worldly standards. We’ve got work to do!!

  • I am a rebellutionary because I believe that God is calling me to do more than what I want and what is easy for me to do. Because I know my silence and my fear is selfishness…and I am NOT glorifying the Lord by my fear and silence.

  • The reason I’m interested, and want to become a rebellutionary, is because theres people that look at me, and just see the crazy, outgoing, hyper-active Danielle, but I want people to see a changed person, when someone looks at me, I want them to see God, not me. I want to be able to have the joy of God, and to exceed the expectations of this world, school teachers, my parents, and everyone else around me.

  • I challenge myself with being a rebelutionary because I want to believe in myself. I want to be more than what people expect of me. By challenging myself to do hard things, whether they are big things or small things, I strengthen who I am. Not only becoming a better person, but becoming a better person for God. He is the reason for everything. The reason why we are all alive. I want to prove to him that I am willing to do what it takes to become more “Christ-like.”

    P.S. The website is also a “work-in-progress.

  • The reason I do hard things is absolutely, without a doubt, for the glory of God. The reason we are here as Christians in a world of darkness is for that fact. From what I’ve observed, Christians are far more glorifying to their Maker when they have thrown aside mediocrity and embraced the cross of Christ – which is, in fact, a very hard thing in itself because it includes all of the small, hard things in life which we’d rather ignore.

    It tells the world that we are the activists in our culture of lethargic Christianity; that we are truly walking and talking believers and followers of Jesus Christ.

    If we keep the center of it all in mind – Jesus and Jesus alone – I believe Rebelutionaries everywhere will continue to glorify God, just as they have in so many astounding ways already.

  • I will use swimming as an analogy for why I do hard things:

    Why do I spend three hours a day, five days a week, in the pool? Because I want to become a great swimmer. Why do I get in the pool and do what my coach tells me, despite the complaints my body makes? Because I want to grow stronger. Why, instead of going easier and getting more rest, do I push harder and take less rest? Because I want to meet my Coaches expectations. Why do I do each heart- rate set faster than the one before? Because I know that it will prepare me for the final meet of the season. Why do I even bother swimming? Because nothing beats the feeling I get, when I dive off the blocks and race an opponent. Nothing beats the feeling of winning by one one-hundreds of a second, and seeing pure joy radiating from my coaches face as he tells me “Well done, my good and faithful swimmer”.

    So why do I spend time with God many hours a day? Because I want to become a great Christian. Why do I get outside my comfort zone? Because I want to grow stronger. Why instead of sleeping in on Sundays and getting more rest, do I wake up early and meet with God? Because I want to meet God’s expectations. Why do I push myself to be more loving and caring each day? Because I know that I am preparing for that final day when Jesus will return. Why do I even bother living? Because nothing beats the feeling of seeing someone else blessed, because I have been faithful in my training as a Christian. Nothing will be able to surpass the feeling I get when I stand before God one day, and He says to me “Well done, my good and faithful servant”

    “There is no greater prize life has to offer than to work hard at work worth doing” This is a quote Teddy Roosevelt made.

    Well that pretty much sums up why I do hard things.
    In Christ,

  • True, true and true. I think a lot of people “join” the Rebelution, caught up in the excitement of a Christian teen rebellion, only to slink away when they find what a rebellion against low expectations actually entails. I see some of that in me.

  • My family has always had a “do hard things” attitude to some degree, but I never began to understand such a mentality until this summer. In May my Grandfather, in a moment of deception and weakness, took his life, leaving my family hurting more deeply than ever before. I have done hard things before-I compete in classical piano and work with the jr. high gals in our church- but all the sudden, hard things were staying in the WORD and talking with the Lord on a daily basis; I had to cling to HIM with all my strength, rather than holding back.The LORD showed me that daily surrender is a hard thing, but it matters more than anything else.

    I now do hard things first of all to honor the LORD, but also to stay focused on what really matters. Life is precious and if we forget the small hard things, forget to plant truth in our hearts on a daily basis, we are easily shaken. Doing hard things glorifies the LORD and, if done with pure motives, strengthens our foundations. Challenges induces growth, and the LORD uses our weaknesses to display His strength.

  • Hey, I just read this post on Elisebeth’s blog, and then realized that it was on as well.
    Here’s the answer that I posted on the Rebelutionaries blog (with a few additions).

    At the end of Brett and Alex’s audio version of “Do Hard Things”, they say that you don’t have to be a Christian in order to benefit from doing hard things. It’s the way God created us: to do hard things. I agree with them, to a point. Here’s the catch… He created us to do hard things *for Him*. We were created to bring Him glory. To fully benefit from doing hard things, we need to do them in order to do just that: glorify God. That’s what we have to keep in mind while doing hard things; the big things and the little things. If we do them for any other reason, the excitement and purpose will fizzle out after time. When we wake up in the morning, we need to keep in mind that everything we do has the opportunity to bring glory to God. If we do the hard thing to our fullest, for God, then we should have every reason to keep the excitement there when it gets down to the “nitty gritty”, as you say. We will continue to do hard things, because we’re doing them for God, not for the hard thing itself.
    C.S. Lewis once said that “if God is satisfied with the work, then the work may be satisfied with itself.” If we are doing hard things for God, then we can be satisfied with those hard things, and continue to do them.

  • For one simple thing. It matters. The things we do for our own earthly pleasure, well, they may seem great now, but ten years from now is it really going to make a difference what food we ate or how much money we blew on stuff that doesn’t fit anymore, or smells weird, or has holes in it? When we do hard things, we are honoring God and striving to become more like Him. As we do this, and get into the Word, and search for what God wants us to do through prayer, and then actually do it, we are making ourself available for God to use us. When I think about God using someone like me, I am encouraged and want to do those hard things that make it possible for Him to do that.

  • I do hard things because I want to glorify my father and be a light and example to people who are not saved. I am grateful for the rebelution because it shows me I am not alone in these desires and I am a part of it because I want others to have that same assurence. Thank you Miss Starr for helping me take a minute and think about why I joined.

  • Fair question. Here is what I would say: The very reason why God created men was so that we could have communion and fellowship with Him. I think, before we worry about what, and so let alone why, we do things, we have to have this fact straight; that above doing things is always knowing God. See Philippians 3:7-10 for that one.
    And then, out of knowing God and having an intimate relationship with Him, we want to bring glory to his name, right? So this is the ultimate reason: To bring glory to His Name!!!
    By the way, when Jesus is coming again, exactly this will be examined by Him: our works – and our motivations behind them. It should always be…SOLI DEO GLORIA!
    And I believe that also means that we should do things that matter to Him, right? You can read that in the story when Jesus tells Peter to tend His sheep. Out of our love for Him, we should care about the things that He cares about and do about them.
    So…in essence: once again IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM.

  • Too many young folks have a “drug” of activity going on in their lives that makes them think they have to be “busy” at something all the time to be worthy, somehow.

    Not true. Sometimes the best thing you can do is go to idle and think. Thinking does not hurt ! Think. Be. Believe. Be

    Down time is battery charging time. It could be reading scripture time. It could be reading another great book that inspires or teaches.


  • “So why? Why are you trying to challenge yourself? What is the point? What is your reason? Why are you a rebelutionary?”
    Not posting the verses as that would make this post even longer. (Though I would recommend looking them up, I find them very helpful for forming my thoughts.)
    Joshua 1:8&9–Knowing what the Lord commands is vital for obedience to Him and relationship with Him, for His commands show His character. So rebelling against low expectations and rising early for time to study the Word is good.
    Judges 2:10&11–How can I pass on what I do not have? If I am not diligent to pursue the Lord as my first love my children(if the Lord so blesses me) will likely not be diligent to pursue the Lord as their first love. So I can love my children(Lord willing) now by teaching myself to pursue the Lord as my FIRST love.
    1st Samuel 15:22b&23a–Listen and Obey. These are the actions God wants, so if I would serve Him, I must listen and obey. I must be diligent to listen and purpose to obey.
    1st Chronicles 29:17a(NIV) “Integrity is soundness of and adherence to Biblical doctrine and righteous character.” (my mother) If I would serve the Lord it is not enough that I know His Words and Law. I must do as He says. Of myself this is impossible for I am weak and sinful. But His grace is sufficient for me for His power is made perfect in weakness.

    All the above to say, I am a rebelutionary because I want to know the Lord and serve Him. Which won’t happen without diligent work, as study and application of the Word are not easy. (After all Christ Himself likened it to crucification!) “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight. Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

  • Why do we do hard things?Well the answer is rather simple. Its two words:JESUS CHRIST is why we do hard things.

  • Solid point…it’s easy to get caught up in the movement and go about calling our normal activites “hard things” instead of actually changing our lifestyles to do hard things. The purpose is not to rename the things we currently do but to go about doing new things for the glory of God, giving up our lives to be found in the life of Christ. We want to become new creatures, not cups polished on the outside. Good challenge.

  • Wow, so many great answers!

    Why do I do hard things?

    I do them because they are the way I can glorify God through my life. And also because I know if I don’t, I would be sinning against Him. I’ve been a rather lazy Christian until recently, and I know He brought me this idea to shake me out of my complacency.

    It’s not easy at all (I’ve been struggling with staying the course lately), but it’s so worth it, to wake up in the morning and know I’m right with God and that I am pleasing Him when I obey.


  • When my mom first told me that i would be going to something called the “Rebelution Conference” i was really excited. But not only was i excited, i was nervous. Nervous for: what i would expect, what i would have to do, if i would know anybody, etc. But all my worries faded away when, a couple of days before the conference, i was hanging out with some of my friends and they asked me if i was going to Rebelution. as soon as they asked me i was relieved that i was not going to be the only one of my friends there. As soon as i got there, i figured out that all of my friends were volenteering, and that most of them knew Alex and Brett very well! God is always faithful! the reason i do hard things for God is because, through my past expiriences, i know that God is always faithful, and no matter what he will always see me through to the end.

  • I have always been a people person. Always. I love to meet new people, carry conversation, and i have done many, many productions and stage performances in my past years at school and church. But when i figured out that i was going to be doing speech this semester… At first i was excited, but then i figured out that i would only know two people…then later it expanded to 4. right before speech class i started freakin out, and i had no idea why. half of me was saying, you cannot do this, your going to mess up in front of everybody and completely humiliate yourslf. And the other half was saying, Bailey! why are you acting this way!? get ahold on your self. My sister has done speech 2 times before me and she is now doing it competitively. so she would try to calm me down and tell me it was natural for me to act this way. All of my friends, including my teacher, tried to tell me that. But every time i heard “no pressure” the more pressure i got. I certainly didn’t want to do speech. the first day rolled by, and i lived!!!!! through the whole thing! i even liked it! wow. but then there was the second week. and that is when we started memorizing everything. Every one kept telling me “you know how to memorize a whole script, you can memorize a speech” that didn’t help. well now it is almost the third week, i have my speech completely memorized and , thanks to my family and my Savior, i have a renewed confidenceand cannot wait until i get to compete against the others. My advice to everyone is to hold on tight, take a deep breath, and trust in God. He never fails. That’s what got me through. also, live for God every day and always glorify him with your actions. And live a rebelutionary life.

  • I do hard things because that is what God has called me to do. We have been put here on this earth to bring glory to His name. One of the things that I like about the verse in James and the surrounding paragraphs is the fact that it says WHEN we fall into trials not IF we fall into trials. I know that sounds kinda loony but its true. Trials are a chance to respond. God gives us the challenges we are faced with because He knows that they will produce faith and perserverence. If it takes a challenge or something hard to help me grow and learn, then I say bring it on! It isn’t always easy but it is worth it. The reward is always better than the process.
    God Bless!

  • My reason is first God. What other reason could I have to be all I can be than to do it for the one who gave me my potential. God made me! He made me with the ability to do hard things, and with the ability to change the world around me. He gave me talent and blessings; it is my responsibility to use all that He has given me to be all that He has made me to be. It is my responsiblity to spread the power of our amazing God. I also do it for my mom, I am the youngest and basically her last hope to feel like she wasn’t a total failure as a mom. She has very high expectations and while before the were discouraging, I now get a thrill out of meeting them; and of course, I do it for myself, the personal satisfaction is amazingly rewarding, and it’s funny because the “personal” satisfaction is all about finding ways to somehow bless others, so it isn’t all about me at all, and I like it that way. It’s all about God, and what He wants to do. I’m just so glad that He wants to use me in His amazing plans.

  • That’s a very thought provoking question. But, in 1Chorinthians 3:16 it says,”But don’t you know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirirt? And that God’s spirit lives in you?” Meaning what you, do protrays God, and the spirit of Him with in you. So, if you are trying to bring people to christ (which you should be trying to do), but people see you as the lazy average American teen-ager, you really aren’t going to get very far. You see, people will notice what you are all about, and doing hard things, show how you love God. I f his spirit is within you then people need to see that. And doing hard things, can show how you love God , hopefully making them say, Hey she sure seems happy, and nice, and very responsible, while still a child of God, may be he/she could tell me about Him.” So, not only is doing hard things for God, what God want’s you to do, or good for you, but it could possibly bring more people to christ.

  • I want to do hard things because (1) God has commanded it, (2) Though it isn’t glamorous, it is beautifully rewarding, and (3) while the hard things don’t seem to make a difference at the time, the end result is one that you would never have imagined, even in your wildest dreams. So far, the small hard things are the hardest for me, but the hard things are getting harder. And with each new challenge, I see more and more that what we do today will give ETERNAL significance to our generation, and to the next.

  • I want to do hard things for three reasons. 1) Because you get to be a good and faithful servant by doing God’s (hard) work, not by watching TV. 2)Because by doing hard things, you can make an impact that you would never have imagined before. 3) Because it beats playing on the Xbox all day (not like I have one or anything, but you get the idea).


  • I am a rebelutionary for 2 reasons (if not more)

    1. I want to be obedient to God and do hard things for the sake of His glory and to magnify His name! Even if it sometimes can be uncomfortable, the Bible never says that the Christian life will be like the “Milk Run” in water rafting, so to speak. The Christian life will have trials and I want to do hard things, even if it means I will be ridiculed or looked down on, etc.

    2. I want to impact others to shun the low expectations for teenagers also. My sister and I started a girls’ service group called REFRESH 3 years ago before Do Hard Things came out, but our intentions were similar to Do Hard Things–we wanted to serve together with other girls while advancing the gospel. We don’t necessarily share the gospel while we are serving because mostly we are serving just with the other girls in our group (except for the supervisor, etc. in the facility we are serving in). But just being there impacts others and we can see it in their faces wondering, “Why would a bunch of girls come in here and serve when they could be doing something “more their style?””

    So those are my reasons. 🙂 I so appreciate your post, Elizabeth! And I encourage the rest of you “posters” (no, not pictures on the wall :)) to keep on doing hard things for Christ! It will reap eternal glory!

  • I am a rebelutionary because I want to improve myself for the glory of God. If I am the same way today as I was yesterday, then I am a failure. I try my hardest to obey God, and when I mess up I feel horrible. That is my hard thing. I have to make myself keep trying so I may someday be able to give God something that I worked hard for, something I’m proud to give.

    “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26.

    I will not give up, no matter how much pain I must endure, because I love God and he loves me. I am here to serve, and that’s what I am going to do.

  • Hi Alex and Brett,
    Wow – your blog is just awesome! I’ve read a lot of the articles on your sidebar and have found them very encouraging and inspiring to me (at age 13). You have given me so much to think and ponder on; thankyou for all the effort you put into this and keep up the good work!

    Love Jess (all the way from Western Australia)

  • It’s simple- I don’t want not to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” How horrible it would be to arrive in Heaven only as one “escaping through the flames,” instead of having stored up a rich treasure trove of faith and good deeds to be rewarded.

  • There is a great need for young people to be bold for the Lord. My motive for being a rebelutionary is to bring glory to my wonderful Savior, Who bled and died for me, by living as He would have me live, and not as the world would have me live.

  • “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” That really pretty much sums it up for me. Christ commands us to do hard things and live above the status quo. We are His and He deserves nothing less. (Also, I really love to see people’s reactions when you blow their expectations out of the water.:)

  • People are leaving great comments but I have to make one more point. People, even those who are doing and involved with WONDERFUL things, can get very caught up in what THEY are are doing for God. Even though we might be serving in all these wonderful things, our focus becomes very much ME and I anyway. What are MY spiritual gifts, where can I serve best, where should I show God’s love to others, which country should I go to on a missions trip.

    We still just get so focused on how God is going to use US, that we really forget our place. We aren’t God’s right arm, and we shouldn’t plaster His name to everything that we’re doing that’s so good, and forget our personal relationship with Him. It should be covered with humility, lets quickly realize that God doesn’t even NEED! So it definitely aint’ about us and us doing such hard things for Him.

    After all that I need to clarify that I hold the Rebelution in a very high regard and am not attacking anyone, but recently God’s been convicting me heart in this area and I wanted to share.

    In HIM,

  • I made a typo in my comment and left out an important not I wanted to make.

    * let’s quickly realize that God doesn’t even need us.* But we were created to serve and give him pleasure. So I’m not saying we should quit serving Him because He doesn’t need us, but we need to remember that we ARE a speck, young and old.
    God is seeking our devotion and our heat to be completely His, then our actions will follow. It is truly a hard thing to be all His. We will have to do difficult things every day, Elisabeth is right. If we can’t be devoted in the little things, God can’t use us in the hard things.

  • Why am I a Rebelutionary? Being ‘weird for Jesus’ is what often causes other people to notice Christ in us. Being responsible and doing things that the average teenager doesn’t care about turn heads. But like Elizabeth said, when the heads turn on us, we have to turn them up.

  • It’s not about me. It’s not about being weird. It’s not about giving up things or pleasures.
    Doing hard things is surrender.
    For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain…my heart cries that my life would reflect this calling…that NONE OF MYSELF would show through…but I would die, so He could live. That might require that we are quote, weird. It might requre that we give up things or pleasures. But let us not get sidetracked…the core idea is SURRENDER…not that we would be a Christian celebrity, but that He would be revealed as all the GREATER.
    I want to see Him exalted.
    And that is why I am a rebelutionary.

  • Why be rebelutionary????
    uh because its awesome(just started the ‘do hard things’ book today and it is soooo hitting the nail on the head) abraham lincoln said “don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive for recognition”. being rebelutionary isn’t what i do cuz i wanna be recognized, but its something i want to do because i know its right. Eventually you may be recognized because its not something you see everyday. teens seem to be EXPECTED to do wrong. i don’t know about yall, but i really don’t wanna live that way, i don’t wanna be looked at that way. (In the future I don’t want my kids to be looked at that way either)
    because its something that teens can stand for that is right. of course nobody expects a barely-teenager to understand. but this is my chance to prove some people wrong – and prove to myself that i really can do something great even tho im really young. At this point in my life i feel like im in a fishbowl, being watched by so many people. reading yall’s book makes me wanna take advantage of that!
    alex and brett, yall are changing more people everyday!!! my dad is a preacher and an elder and i haven’t heard anything close to what yall are telling people. way to go!!
    (age 13, texas) Caity

  • One does hard things because “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Who wants to live an empty life? Jesus came that we might have life to the full, and to have life to the full we are going to have to go through and do hard things.
    When I reach the time when I want to quit, I usually have to take a deep breathe and remind myself that quitting is not an option. I’m not saying that You can’t take a break. In fact that is what I meant by a deep breath – a break. Sometimes breaks are needed. I pray that God will give us the wisdom to discern when is the right time to take a break and when taking a break would not be the best idea.

  • I have no rights or privleges. I exist soley because God created me for His good pleasure. So, whatever I do, I do for Him. If I’m getting worn out or frustrated, it’s probably because I stuck some things in my life for ME; they wear me out. He will give me everything I need to do what He wants. If I can grasp even a small reflection or a momentary glimpse of His heart for me, I am motivated to serve Him with EVERYTHING that I am. I guess, because I know His great love, I’m motivated to do WHATEVER hard thing He asks. May I seek His face when I become weary!!!!!

  • I challenge myself to do hard things as a rebelutionary for two main reasons.
    One of the biggest reasons is that faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26). I feel that God has called me, as well as the rest of our generation, to push ourselves to do things for God daily. If I am a Christian and hold all of my faith to myself, then what difference will it make? Some days God will call me to do more things than others. But to get to the point I’m trying to make, if you truly love God, you are naturally going to do things for Him… and that includes things that are difficult. If you’re not doing anything for God, you honestly need to be checking your heart out and see who you’re really living for.
    My second reason is that it benefits other people to see me pushing myself daily. Other people are encouraged when they see people living with a purpose. Not only that, but if people begin to see that I’m living my faith out loud, they will surely begin to either question it, follow by example, or be inspired.

  • Put short and simple: 80 years of lazy pleasure on earth cannot compare to the “weight of glory”- the treasures we lay up in heaven, throughout all eternity. When we see the Lord, we’ll wish we had done more for Him.

  • Do Hard Things.
    When I heard about the book I got super excited! I started reading it… And got to thinking about my life so far, what I do in my spare time… and I realized that, someday when I’m way older I don’t want to look back and wish I could’ve learned more, wish I would’ve done more to impact the world.
    I’ve learned lately that doing hard things can even be just holding back my temper when irritated by siblings. Reading challenging books. Doing an extra chore that I have time for but am not required to do.
    Being a teenager I have so much I can learn and do to help further the Kingdom!
    I really like what Abby said, “When we see the Lord, we’ll wish we had done more for Him”
    I hope we can all keep that mindset.. 🙂

  • To me, the reason I do hard things is because I am usually gravitated that way in the heart and in spirit. I know that for every battle as a man I will fight in the future, there is also one to be fought in the moment, and to be a living sacrifice and be this radical Christian I commit myself to be, I must not be wasting time. It says in scripture that the disciples of Christ did not lose heart, because it was God’s mercy that had saved them.

    If who ever happens to read this has felt God’s mercy, the mercy of the Lord God (it is not something to be taken lightheartedly) then they know as well as I do what that scripture means. I do NOT do hard things to challenge the earth, to flaunt my talent or even to be an “example” to others. I do NOT do hard things so that I will have something to show for it. That’s bologna to me. I do hard things because God’s mercy is spilled on to my spirit daily. I do hard things because this life is composed of hard things, and hard things only, when you are shown by the Lord what they are that way in their thousands of aspects and perceptions. I do hard things (though relatively recently over these 17 years) for the God I serve and have the utmost respect for because I want to be fill that “sinful void”, that flesh with no pure motives. I want to be %100 in every thought, in every move I make, in every condition my heart happens to fall in (we do not know its next step, especially in times like these where finding truth is like solving a puzzle). I urge you, rid the fear my brothers and sisters, and fall into the Heart of Christ.

  • “So why? Why are you trying to challenge yourself? What is the point? What is your reason? Why are you a rebelutionary? I’d love to hear your answers.”

    Simply put, I can’t be the man God wants me to be until I challenge myself to reach higher goals. I’ve been given many gifts by God, and He wants me to use them to the best of my ability.

    Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


  • Because first of all, it is what God tells us to do, to use the talents he has given us to help others and to honour and praise him, even, or especially when it is hard. Second of all, because I don’t want to have to conform to society’s idea of how teens are. I want to change that.

  • How do I get up every morning work on my thirteen college hours even though I am still in high school? How do I volunteer every weekend? Keep the house running because everyone else has health problems? The answer is I DON’T, I CAN’T, I FAIL, every time I try. Why? Because I was not meant to be able to do it. When Jesus asked the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and follow Jesus, Jesus knew He was asking the rich guy to do the only thing he could not do. Why? Because Jesus wanted him to know that he could do nothing to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus wanted him to know he could do NOTHING.

    Jesus has taught me to wake up every morning and say I cannot do anything, but You are welcome to live through me this day. How do I keep the fire going? I do not but Jesus does, because He will not ask me to do anything without promising me that He will do it through me. Yep Jesus pretty much Rocks. I rest in Him and He lives through me.

  • Life isn’t really worth much unless we are worth something. The only way we will encourage, teach, or effect anyone is by making ourselves worth believing. Are we going to trust in someone who does everything the easy way? No we’re going to scoff at their attempts to turn us to their side. We need someone we can respect. Someone who respects themselves enough to push themselves. Once we have figured out what it will take for us to change ourselves, we will know what it takes to change others. That’s what we’re here for aren’t we? To change the world, one stubborn soul at a time. Nothing really matters but getting ourselves and the human race into Heaven. And it’s going to be hard.

  • I try to do Hard things because God put me on this earth to change the world for him and to do that I have to challenge myself to be more like him! Every day it is hard but with the power of God there are many small and big hard things that can be accomplished!

  • Alex and Brett!
    Hey, I love your book ‘Do Hard Things’ it has really made me think about some things that i didn’t think were very important in life, but really what i thought wasn’t, turned out to be a really big deal. I want to be a rebalutionary! I want to make a diffrence in peoples lives!

    I’m a pastors daughter so you would think that it would be easy to go out and tell people about God, but the truth is i think it makes it even harder. Every day I’m expected to be a perfect little girl and know everything about the bible and tell everyone i pass on the street about God. But everyday i found my self trying not to do those things and show people that I’m not perfect. But when i did that it didn’t help at all. Now, after reading your book i found out that if people see me doing hard things and telling other people about God maybe they’ll start doing it too. I’m really excited to start working harder to be a good example and bring others to Christ! And thats why i want to be a rebelutionary!

  • Why do hard things? because I’m afraid of the consquences.
    I have tried to do things my way for a long time and for the most part they have worked out ok but I still feel empty. I had a very abusive childhood and my trust in God is small, my view of God is small. I still feel so cheated and angry that God didn’t protect me and while I can say I believe in the work of Jesus at the Cross… I find it hard to stomach that He really cares for me in an imitimate way. I know a whole lot about God, I know how I am supposed to feel and act, but that doesn’t add up in my heart and what I have experienced.

    I do hard things because I want this to get better. I do hard things because there is a flame of hope that burns in me that tells me that only God can heal what has been lost. I do hard things because I want God to prove to me that He cares. Maybe they are not very good reasons… but they are my reasons for now.

  • Teens today have to learn really nothing is possible without God but also without the will of themselves to do what God wants us to do. God never said that following him would be easy as a matter of fact he said it would be pretty hard. So how can we expect to do easy things and follow God? We have to do hard things in order to become the person God wants for us to be! God told us following him wouldn’t be easy, why should we expect it to be? -Singing 4 Him- Jodi:D

  • I am in the process of reading “Do Hard things” for a class I am taking, and I think that it is an excellent book. But after reading the other comments and the blogs, I can’t help but to ask, how can I, do hard things? I am NOT given the same opportunities as you guys probablly are! Then there are the people in poverty, they may do hard things, but they’ll get no where! It’s the viciouse cycle of life, the “food chain”, the class level, unfortunately I’m not at the top. I want to do hard things, but they aren’t really offered. Teachers and adults tell me that “the sky is the limit” but all they really give me are limits. Plus everything cost so much money, and that is something I don’t have much of. There isn’t a rescue mission in the city that I live, and the food bank is really poor, but I have no money to donate to them and they almost frown upon teenage volunteers because they never do their jobs, that’s why it’s hard to even do Community service around here. I want to go to a Christian University in Idaho, but everyone tells me that it is impossible, no one has even allowed me to or helped me put away money for college and I gratuate in three years! I apalogize for being so negative, because apparently the results for some people have been good, and the book is wonderful, but I just need to know, how can I make it work for me? for my community?

  • I have barely read “Do Hard Things” (I hardly have enough time), but what I’ve gathered as the underlying fact compitalized by the Harris is simply a social phenomenon that whoever pushes themselves to succeed WILL succeed. And I think it ingenious to push us (teens) to apply it to ourselves, rather than waiting till adulthood to do so. My dad was been telling me this for a while (though I haven’t felt inclined to push myself too much…), and I realize that what my dad’s been saying is precisely what is in this book, only applied specifically to teens. I only have realized last year, that to get into an awesome college, I really have to do awesome things, and really push myself outside my comfort zone. Of course, I can only go so far outside my comfort zone without God’s help in my endeavors.

  • Hey what are we suposed to be challanging ourselfs with? I dont really ever buy shoes or clothes so what am I suposed to be challanging my self with?

  • I totally get what Elisabeth is saying, it’s easy to talk about doing something and be excited at the beginning but once you actually have to start doing the work it gets so much harder and it is harder to keep that passion going.

    How do we keep a smile when we’re fighting to make ourselves do hard things?


    I don’t really know you so I can’t pinpoint exactly where you need to challenge yourself, but in general we just need to start doing the things that are hard for us. It might be easy for you to pass up buying a cute pair of shoes to curb your spending but for others (myself included) it is more difficult. Think of it this way, if you are repeating math class with some other people and you’ve already learned the stuff they’re teaching you, who is going to learn more? You or the person next to you who has never taken that class before? Obviously the other person because this is new to them and more challenging because they’ve never done it before.

    Same goes here. The only way to grow and learn is to do the things that are hard for you and to challenge yourself.
    I hope this helped!

  • Beth-
    The way we challenge ourselves is to step out of our box. Once we do that we are challenging ourselves to grow. We also challenge ourselves to grow spiritually so that God can use us in more oppertunities. When we challenge ourselves we grow in what we can do.

  • Recently I’ve gotten lazy and have not been sticking with the rebelution. How do I make my drive strong again? I feel like I’m starting to not care anymore, but i want to care again. I was a lot happier when i did, but ive gotten discouraged. How do i stop doubting myself so i can do what God wants me to do?

  • Jody F.–

    I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I just wanted to encourage you that God is the one who sanctifies us, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we fail. Sin is serious, yes– that’s why Jesus died. I went through a time when I got really discouraged when I sinned, and thought I was a failure as a Christian. I talked to my mom about it, and she said, “We fall, and we get back up, and we thank God for Jesus. And we fall again, and get back up, and thank God for Jesus.” We should always keep trying, yes! We need to trust God that he will do his job on us.
    I hope you see this! (and I hope I’m not misunderstanding you– I just felt led to try to offer any encouragement I could.)
    In Him,

  • Andrew –

    The best advice I can give you is to lean on Christ. Usually when I start fading (which I struggle with often) I have not been doing my devotions or praying. I’m a very independent person, I like to really lean on myself but I have been learning that I can never make it on my own, no matter how motivated I feel or how hard I work, I can’t do it without God. Romans (3:23 I think) says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We all fall short. There is no amount of good deeds or Godless efforts that will get us into heaven. So we have to place our trust in God and ask for his help every day because “we can do all things through christ who gives us strength”.

    And don’t be discouraged. The fact that you want to care again is a wonderful evidence of God’s grace in your life! Keep fighting! 🙂

    I’ll be praying!

    In Christ alone,
    Rebecca Whitpan

  • Andrew –
    Continually seek to draw closer to the Lord through reading His Word and spending time with Him. The more you feel like you don’t want to do it, or don’t have time, the more you need to “do hard things” and make yourself. The Bible is more necessary to us than our food, but we humans are amazingly good at starving ourselves when it comes to spiritual things!

    Look for God’s guidance in your life, look for the things He wants you to do… You don’t have to come up with anything brilliant, because the burden isn’t on you, it’s about following God. Yes, many of the things He tells us to do are difficult (like always loving others, being patient, giving kind answers), but He also gives you the tools you need.

    If you are feeling discouraged, ask Him for strength and encouragement.
    Also, Christian friends can encourage you as well. Seek them out! I’m amazed at how much Christians have in common just by the fact they love Christ!

    ~ Your sister in Christ,

  • You’re talking about an epic struggle that people have faced for so long. I have to admit, first of all, that I struggle with the translation of enthusiasm into works; and I’m a self-starter!

    Good thing that we have a terrific model of a life that does hard things in Jesus Christ. I know that the scriptures display his model well. But I also look at Robert Coleman’s book, “The Master Plan of Evangelism.” Excellent!

    To finally answer your question, many days I’m not really sure how to put enthusiasm into action. To be totally honest, I have a comfort zone in whatever I’ve normally done in the past. So, I have to realize that the “usual” can be a trap, even if the “usual” requires a great deal of straining. Once I know that, it kind of shakes the cob webs off of my eyes and it’s much easier to see the real tasks that are ahead of me.

    I guess I’m saying that I need to live every day as it’s own new day, and not just try to exist by blurring one day into the next for a never-ending time. I literally re-start every day. Thanks for the power of the cross to make that possible. I owe so much to Jesus Christ!

    You guys are doing a great job! You have a great message. I can’t begin to tell you how much this message is needed and that it does strike at the heart of God. You’ll be in my prayers.

    Scott in NM

  • I endeavor to do hard things for the glory of God my Lord, Jesus my savior, and the Holy Spirit my counselor. And to learn and grow, applying myself to every fresh challenge that I may overcome the obstacles, grow stronger, and be able to come even greater obstacles.

    God bless.


  • Because it is right. God gave us many gifts. He wants to see us put them to use.

    God doesn’t need us. He created us to worship and praise Him. We were created for one single purpose: to love and obey Him. Considering the benefits, don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to what He tells us?

  • From time to time, I realize how much time we can spend our time to doing things that apparently glorify God. However, it is more important to realize that God first and foremost looks at our hearts and our intentions. Our actions are mere manifestations of our hearts and our desires. So first, we need to be something. That is ontology. We glorify God by being who we are.

    We worship God, not because we love this warm feeling when we sing. We sing because of our thirst and hunger for God Himself.

    What is the point of missions? To make more missionaries? No! But to make worshipers of Jesus in truth and spirit. People whose hearts are so given to God.

    I must quote Paul Washer here.

    “Would you trade the seeking after God for a TV or a radio program or this or that?”

    “Isn’t that a horrid thing to say about ourselves? I mean if we were to commit a crime I would have to say that being able to delight in almost anything other than just tarrying in the presence of God is the worst crime.” – Paul Washer

    For more quotes from him, visit my blog,

  • Just a girl –

    I know that it is hard to do hard things but that is why it is called Do Hard Things. Doing hard things doesn’t have to be doing really big stuff like climbing Mount Everest singlehandedly. We can do hard things just in the little things like being faithful to make your bed every morning, have your devotions daily, and keep your room clean. You can honor God by doing your best at school, working hard, and not doing things that you know are displeasing to Christ.

    And as for our reward, well our efforts aren’t always immediately rewarded. I remember a story our pastor told us about a christian man with four sons that were not believers. The man worked his whole life drawing them out and trying to get them to come to church and he did his best to be a Godly example to them. When he died his sons had still not been saved. BUT the story’s not over yet. At their father’s funeral the four sons gathered and decided to honor their father by going to church and they were all saved! 🙂 The truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t be doing hard things for our own earthly reward, we should be working hard to bring honor and glory to the God who loved us so much that he laid down his life for us. Though we may never receive our reward here on Earth God has a reward waiting for us in heaven that we will receive when we leave the world to be with him.

    God saw all our sins past, present, and future and he still chose to love us! That is amazing! And even more amazing is that he saw the weight of our sins alone and he decided to take the punishment for all the sins of everyone in the world! Talk about doing hard things. So I think it is only appropriate that we dedicate our lives to giving him the honor, praise, and glory that he deserves!

    I hope this helped at all and I will be praying.

    In Christ alone,
    Rebecca Whitpan

  • I’m challenging myself to be a person who rises out of apathy and says, “This is it! my time is now. If I’m not willing to take a step to change my life, my town, my state, my country; if I don’t rise up and do something I know I should do right now, when will I? will anything ever change? I don’t want to take that risk and let the answer be “no.” I’m rebelling against the low expectations the world tries to place on me because I’m not of this world.I may call this place “home,” but I can’t let it dictate how far I should or shouldn’t go to change this world.

  • Amen Jared! It’s so great that you are challenging yourself to do that! God will not let your efforts be in vain!

    In Christ alone,
    Rebecca Whitpan

  • I’m going to challenge myself because I have realized that there is only one way for me to live. I am nothing if not for the blood of Christ, and with every aspect of my life I want to glorify His name. Hard things require/allow me to let go of earth and fix my eyes on eternity. Personally, pride has been a big obstacle; always it would seem, my focus has been on promoting myself and protecting my image. It may not sound difficult, but I still struggle to make myself small and expose my weakness in a way that magnififes God. I have definitely been growing in this area lately, and on this foundation, I will work and learn to do other hard things that reveal the greatness of my Savior to those in need of the same grace. I will live to love the unloved and protect those who can’t protect themselves, for God has been faithful to me in my unfaithfulness. How fantastic is it that we can submit our prides, our flesh, our idols, our failures – and trade them for the peace that surpasses all understanding? How great is our God? I want to do hard things because I am amazed by the Lord and trust His plan for me.

    P.S. I’ve been studying 2 Timothy lately and found some of the commands quite challenging and promises quite uplifting, so I really recommend it for other aspiring rebelutionaries. Grace to all of you!

  • This is the answer I gave to the forum question: define Do Hard things in your own words.
    (I think it pretty much applies here too)

    “Taking opportunities. Rising beyond what is expected to accomplish new dreams and not remain a child forever. Using the gospel as a foundation to change the world. Challenging yourself, and thus by example challenging others. Hard Things is most importantly a relevant term, making a challenge different for everyone. If we look for the hard things God has to offer we will find them. If we seek out opportunities, they will be provided. And that’s what the commitment to do hard things means. The commitment to not let anything pass you by. To personally rise beyond what your personal standard may be. And with all of us rising together, we can change the world.”

    So those are my presonal reasons why. because I want to be an example. And I have to rise above what my limits are, not what someone else’s are. At the MD conference Brett refernced Complacency. and that’s what I’m Rebeling against.

  • By doing hard things, you accept challenges and difficulties. It’s challenges that make you a better person; things that stretch, pound, and mold you like clay so that God can use you for greater purposes. We are also like weak muscles, but when hard times arise, they exercise us so we can become stronger, able to withstand more and more each time.
    Proverbs 3:9-10 demonstrates that if we work hard and give God our very best, He will bless us forever. Isn’t this at least one reason for doing hard things?

  • Glorifying God and thanking Him for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is my main and only good reason for doing those small hard things every day – without Him there’s no purpose in it.

  • This article definitely gave me some things to think about and so did the comments. I loved reading again and again about other young people out there who desire to first, Please God and glorify Him and secondly to make a difference.

    I find that contentment with what I am doing and where I am at is one of the greatest dangers that I face. To put it simply, I don’t want to be content with where I am at. I want to get closer to God. I want to help others around me. I want to Him to be glorified and if that can be through me, what an honor!

    This is one reason I love the thought of the Rebelution (which I just found out about recently). It can be so easy to get caught up in just being involved in activities or even just TALKING about doing things. But what about doing them, and doing them to the best of our abilities with the goal of glorifying God?

    For me it comes down to a constant battle and choice, little things through out every day. Will I get up early to spend time with God? What will I do with my free time? When I see a need will I react to it or look the other way, waiting for someone else to finish the job? Or even more important, how can I be used by God now? What will He do when I make myself available?

    The way I see it is the decision again and again to “pick up our crosses and follow Him”.
    I want to be used by God. I want to do what I can for Him where He has placed me. The way I see it, time is short and why not do all I can here and now?

    Being a missionary kid in eastern Europe gives me daily opportunities… but the choice to take the opportunities is mine. I haven’t read the book, Do Hard Things yet or looked at the sight much (I will!!) but I am already inspired by what I have seen. Thanks to those who are doing all this!!!

  • Well, Andrew-
    I have to tell you something. The quickest (and sometimes the hardest) way to get out of any problem you might be facing is to realize that you CAN’T do it. Apart from Christ we can do NOTHING….nothing at all.
    We can’t do anything, but Christ can do anything and everything! Isn’t that just amazing!

    Just remember this: “I can’t, but Christ can.” Beware, though….you may never be the same! 😉

    -Jared hooper

  • God has called me to! He created me to be a rebelutionary, however He recently showed me how I can become a better, more focused one. His plans are not always our plans, but His plans are always better! Its hard, but oh so worth it.

  • Why do I do what i do day after day after day? I’ve been asked that question so many times, maybe not in word form, but in questioning looks, criticizing stares and ignorant laughter. To serve the God that I do it requires a full commitment. If I don’t do what He’s called me to do, than I am disrespecting His very essence–who He is and what He’s done for me. I can’t stare Him in the face someday and say, “Well, see I didn’t feel like it,” or “Honestly God, I didn’t understand what you were asking me to do.” The truth is I’ve searched what God has called me to do, and because of that knowledge that I now have, I am held accountable. I must serve Him before myself, and I must love Him beyond myself. It’s all I have to offer. If I don’t live my day to day life for Him, how will I live the spotlight life He’s called me to? We are all shining lights for Him every day. People watch us, they want to know if we do have something in Jesus Christ, if I don’t show His love to them, who will? It’s my calling. That’s my answer.

  • Because…It brings God glory. It brings questions to peoples minds. They ask me why I do it. I do hard things because it helps me be more like Christ. When I discipline myself to wake up and walk all the way across the room to turn off my alarm-to spend time with God, it makes me more like Christ. When I choose to have my fri nights spent @ prayer time @ church rather than at a friends-it makes me more Christ like-and THAT’S what I want. THAT’S why I do hard things. i want to glorify God in all that I do and say and doing hard things glorifies God. I want my hard things to ultimately leave an affect on our culture. I want my hard things to inspire others to do hard things. i want to people to see that young people just like me CAN do hard things. i want people to see me do hard things and EXPECT that.
    Anyway, I could go on forever-but I do hard things ultimately to be more like Christ and bring glory to God-the only one who deserves it.

  • I’m doing this challenge becuase I want to be seprate from how the wolrds’ teenagers will be in the time yet to come. My class at school is reading the book “DO HARD THINGS” and I’m really being moved by this amazing book! Reading it I think that it is very sad how many times there are oppertunities in life for some teens, but they pass up on that offer from God. I for one don’t ever want to do that.

  • What helps me to choose to consistantly do hard things is the fact that if I did not do what I ought to do I very well may regret it for always and eternity.

  • Why do I do hard things? At first, yes it was because of the excitement of the movement. However, once I began to understand what Alex and Brett were saying, I came to realize how unlike my Savior I still was. I no longer ‘do hard things’ just for the sake of doing them or because I want to prove I am a ‘real’ Rebelutionary. No. I do hard things because Christ has commanded me to do so. I do them not because I like them (all the time), but because “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philip.3:10,11) It may be hard, but I know Jesus will jealously keep me and spur me on to an ever increasing glory for His name’s sake.
    All honor, glory, praise, and power is due to Him, and to Him alone. Therefore, I will give my devotion to no other. How about you?

  • The purpose for challenging myself: for doing hard things, should not be to glorify myself, it should not be not out of sympathy for the human race and it should not be to please fellow believers. The reason I press toward this goal is because I have “seen” and known Christ- and judged Him worthy. I have known the incredible love of God and (naturally) loved Him back. A passion for my Savior is what drives me to do what He asks. But, of course, I’m far from perfect, we all are. That will not happen until we arive in Heaven and see Him as He is. But does that stop me from doing my best? May it never be! When we are discouraged let us look back to calvary- the cost of our redemption and the hardest thing ever. Then let us look forward to the judgement seat of Christ and strive to hear Him say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

  • I do hard things because I know its right and anything i can do to make myself a better person and closer with the Holy Spirit, is somthing that is at the top of my list of things i want and have to doand want to do. What she said about joining because of the excitement was true at first, but now i grasp the real reason i want to be a rebulutionary, because i help the way adults look at teens.

  • There’s been something pricking my heart for a long time. I think now I know where it came from and I might be starting to get what it is but at first it was just a deep-rooted desire to DO SOMETHING. It wouldn’t let me go, wouldn’t let me stop trying. It started with Winterfest 2008 (an awesome event for teens). I found God in a deep way at Winterfest, in a way that shook me up and overwhelmed me and that might just be the most awesome thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. That night changed my life. Shortly after, I found the book DO HARD THINGS. It was amazing how it seemed to echo the things that I felt so strongly and just didn’t know how to say. I realized that I’ve got to start now. I don’t know when God’s coming back and I want to work for Him as long and as well as I can, with everything I’ve got because He deserves so much more than everything – that’s my answer.

  • I choose to do hard things because I don’t wish to be a spiritual nobody that wastes away on candy, video games, or some other vain, temporary pleasure. Do I want to be a star for God, or do I want to be a blob that was born a blob, grew up a blob, married a blob and raised some blobs of my own, and died a blob, never to be heard of again? Standard, or a reflection of God into the lives of others? I understand now that i can’t be both both normal and of God.

  • When our baby was born, a friend challenged me thus: are you willing to raise her to be a nobody for God, if that’s what He requires? The hardest thing for me is witnessing to those around me in daily life. Overcoming my fear of their disapproval in order to show them Who they really need. Lowering myself in their opinion, allowing myself to become a nobody for the sake of the gospel. I want to do it because I can still remember what life without Jesus was like. I am constantly realising that things only make sense with God; God’s story hangs together in the face of all opposition. It seems like a paradox to say I am compelled by love, but that’s how I feel – knowing how much God loves us, how can I NOT share that with everyone I meet? May He help us all!

  • I have to admit it IS hard. But isn’t that a part of life? Isn’t that the whole purpose? You DO have to find your own reason for doing those things that are hard for you. Personally, I do them because I know its what God wants from me. He wants me to be all that I can be. I’m not finished reading DO HARD THINGS but I’m working on it. I’m reading it slowly so I can really understand what they’re trying to say. Before I started reading it I was so complacent to just be “average”. My parents, my friends, and my church family love me. But why? Because to them I’m better than most teenagers. I don’t do drugs, I don’t party, I don’t drink, I get good grades, I go to church. But that isnt enough. DO HARD THINGS showed me that. I was sliding by with doing the minimum. I wasn’t actually doing any good. The good I was doing wasn’t hard. It was things I enjoyed that took a small amount of effort. Now, I try to do what I know is right, even if its hard. Before I couldn’t stand up for my beliefs if someone was bashing them, I’d just walk away. I couldn’t stand up for that kid that’s getting bullied. But now I do. It’s what God wants from me. He’s given me so much. More than I deserve, I should give something in return. Even if it’s hard.

  • I want to do hard things because im tired of people thinking that im stupid and expecting so low of me so i want to change that. Before i read the book i was an easy going person and just went with the flow now im doing every hard thing i possibly can because it can and will make a difference. I even had a short argument with one of my teachers, because she expected low of me and i asked her to challenge me with new tasks but she kept expecting low and wouldn’t accept it. I have a story. I’m a swimmer and I just got back from midland i met this kid. He was blind. Hes only been blind for about 8 months. I heard that he had a minigitist infection (sorry i can’t spell) so he had to get a vaccination for it and this is very rare he got the shot then he started to lose his memory. I mean this kid didn’t no his own mom. Once he got his memory back he started to go blind and he all of sudden could play the piano, type, hes incredible at math and the most amazing and dedicated swimmer i have ever seen. Once he finished his warm up he started to help us out of the pool ok remember this guy can’t see he knew when we were there and even if we were male or female. I think this is a great example of doing hard things yes it just suddenly happend but that wow we need to try to reach our goals.

  • I want to do hard things, besides your book encourage us to do it, it came at a perfect time I do not want to keep wasting my teenage years I want to glorify God with that time, resently I used to seat in the TV for hours until I started reading lots of books and I realized that there is something else something more for me than just sitting around, pleasing God is a hard thing sometimes but is much more gratifying than being home bored and with nothing to do, I want to start writting my story with Jesus, any path that I will take in college I will do it with Him and no anybody else because He is the one who has never fail me and never will but I will but in His grace He forgives me through His son that died for me, and He knows me, an insinificant person that doesnt deserve that but deserves all the contrary, thanks to Him is that I want to do hard things is because of Him I want to preach the gospel to everybody and tell them how great is Him how awesome is my God and Lord.

  • Hello,
    I just want to say thank you Alex and Brett, for listening to God and for obeying Him. You guys have definately motivated me to do hard things. God is just so awesome in just the way that He has used you guys!!! = )

  • look, this will be my first ever post, and i believe that it should be worthwhile. I want to do hard things because for a while now ive been slipping farther and farther behind, and i want to make up for that. Just this reason alone though is not enough for me and i also believe that your book opened me up to the fact that its not just showing off or a good feeling,but because if you can, you need to push yourself to the point that that CAN turns to DOES. im not sure how clearly im saying this but… i believe that sitting here listening to punk music, typing a reply to your question and thinking “im gonna do better” wont cut it. i wont do better, ill do MY BEST. i will rise past the expectations of my school, no matter how hard it is. my other reason for wanting to do hard things is that people all my life have said i have potential, and not using it is a waste and an embarassment (did i spell that right?) that i need to fix. i plan on being a psyciatrist when i get older, but how can i help others if i cant help myself? thank you for all the help and wisdom youve given me.

  • It’s easy to get so excited about something like this: Oh my gosh, I’m going to change the world!!! And then wake up the next day, or a week later, and realize, oh, man, I can’t do this. And I think that’s the most important thing to realize: I CAN’T do this. Period. HOWEVER, the good news is that God CAN handle this and everything else that comes my way, and He can and will give me His strength to do what He has called me to do. Spending time with God and growing closer to Him is absolutely necessary, or the rebelution will become just another good idea I thought about pursuing but never did.

    Also, it’s easy for me to say, “Okay, I don’t smoke, drink or curse, or go with the ones who do. I dress modestly, I go to church, I go to youth group, I do this, and that, and this, etc. etc. etc. I’m cool enough. I’m already breaking society’s low expectations for me.” However, that doesn’t mean I should settle for that. If I find some things easy, sure, that might break society’s expectations. But am I really willing to settle for just doing the easy things? What about those little things, like getting up on time, being patient with my (annoying) little brother, showing love to my family even when I feel like screaming at them, etc.? It’s easy for me to sort of conveniently forget those things, and that’s where prayer and accountability come in. God knows when I didn’t do something I should have done. And when I did do something I shouldn’t have done. (Sort of like Paul??) And if I have a friend who’s asking me every time I see her how patient I’ve been (or fill in the blank), it helps me to stay on task when I’m tempted to be impatient.

    It gets very discouraging to do those little things over and over and over again. To guard my heart when I’m with the guy I really like. To guard my tongue when I’m tempted to say something that isn’t the best thing to say. To make time to spend with God daily, not just as a chore, but as something I can’t live without. It’s hard to rely on God’s strength, because I want to do it on my own. So yeah, it helps to know there are like-minded people out there who are struggling through the same things I am. 🙂 Misery likes company, right?

  • alot of times when you wake up tired& with a head ache its hard to really just jump up & and kick off your spiritual life for that day, but i geuss that what helps me is when i just stop at some point & just say God take control. and when God has something he has been telling us to do we should do it out of love & respect. love for the person we’re doing it to help & Respect ror God because He is amazing & incomprehendible, His love fills every cup & over flows, there is no taste sweeter no music more lovely, no earthly thing can compare to it. He is better. & He is who we should live for,100%.

  • i’m reading your book and i really like it. i keep going away from God but he’s really the only one i need. like i’m starting to cuss again but when i pray about it things get back in place and back to normal again. when i go away from God i start doing bad in school, do bad things, get grounded, but when i have God, my life is better than ever. he has done amazing things in my life. i know people, my friends, my family, who dont have God in there life and when i look at there life then compare it with mine, wow. they dont even seem like there liveing for a purpose. there life seems misrable. its all proof that Gods real. it makes me sad that when you think about what God did for us, had his OWN son
    die on the cross for our sins, we cant give ONE day to God. Like a whole entire day. He created us and gave us many DAYS, weeks, months, years to live and we cant just give him one day. and when he got his son to die on the cross, we end up finding our selves wasting time, of our lifes, the time that could be used for God. Like one minute ago, we will NEVER get that time back. NEVER. we could of used it on God.

  • I do hard things to Glorify God, and in hopes that I can make a differance in the world. I have seen and read things that are happening in the world and I think that these things need to be changed. I am not a full rebelutionist yet, I guess I am like the other girl lol in training. I am reading the book and I really like it. I am hoping and praying that I can make a difference along with everyone else here. When I found the book and started reading ti I thought “Oh my gosh, there are other people like me, people that want to make a stand and change things” We need to change the future

  • I want to be like christ, and i want to learn good stuff that will be usefull on the missionfield. I have a longing to go to a far away country and tell others about jesus. just think, we are the next generation to go out and tell people about christ. the way i look at it is if i dont tell people about Him they will be spending eternity in hell!!!! the bible says to treat others the way you would want to be treated, wouldn’t you want to be told before it was to late?

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →