rebelling against low expectations

Don’t Let the Beanbag Get You


This clip is from a sermon our older brother gave last Sunday on Proverbs 3:7-12. We encouraged him to post the video because we thought it was a terrific reminder about the danger and deception of sin.

You can listen to the audio of the full sermon here.

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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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  • Wow. That’s a good message for teens to hear. Even some books and movies can be evil, too, and this has helped me to see the bigger picture and turn away from those things. Thanks guys!

  • Amen! Thanks for posting that. What powerful imagery. His call to child-like faith was particularly poignant. I know in my own life there are often areas in which I feel that this or that is/or may lead to sin but because I can’t rationalize why it could be sin (or can rationalize why it isn’t!) I don’t flee. We all need to be reminded not to lean on our own understanding- but to trust the Lord and turn away.

  • Powerful. It’s very practical when a preacher talks about sin in that way and then says “What were you thinking of just then?” It’s a conviction that can really drive you to live more purely for Him.

    The title of the video is also very catchy, ha ha ha…

  • I’m 20 years old, and when I’m at work the other co-workers tell me that I’m innocent, and soon I’ll get used to looking at people in a different light, and do things a different way. I’ve been so blessed to have this job, and I’m learning so much about loving people the way Christ loves them, and being a light in this world that I needed to get on ym knees and ask God to be my strength as I continue working there. I work for minimum wage, but I don’t have to live minimum wage. I’m called to a higher standard, and it’s nice to here from the people I work with that when they work with me they enjoy being there. I praise God for that because he is working in me also to love being who I am in him as a girl in this generation. I have the choice to turn from evil, and I have the choice to depend on my creator, but he has the power to change me. he enables us the strength to change our bad habits into godly habits that please him.

  • I’ve been so blessed to have this job, and I’m learning so much about loving people the way Christ loves us. I’m called to be a light in this world, and I need to daily get on my knees and ask God to be my strength as I continue working there. *


    ” I cna be a computer person!” it takes time, and practice 😉

  • the computer just rebuked me.

    “I’m posting comments to fast, and I need to slow down.”

    🙂 sorry.

    tonight is a good night.

  • That was really good! Thanks Josh! 🙂

    A great reminder that we can easily convince ourselves that something we should be turning away from is not that bad. We often end up only rationalizing (rational lies that is :wink:) ourselves to death, consumed by the beanbag. May the Lord show us the rational truth of his Word!

  • cool illustration! and so convicting. im still in high school but im taking a couple college classes and sometimes the things that get discussed… i dont know much about except that they are wrong… which makes me seem like a “child” compared to all the experienced “adults”. thanks for reminding me that its better to be a “child”!

  • Another thought is that, instead of just turning our eyes away from evil, we should turn them to good. We should focus our eyes upon Jesus. I think sometimes we fall into the trap of not turning to evil, but not turning to good at the same time. Not really looking either way, just looking down at the floor and trying not to look anywhere. We need to be looking at something, focusing our eyes on something, living for something. So instead of evil, it needs to be good. Not somewhere in the middle.

  • Just what I needed to hear. Sin/evil/wickedness/beanbag (call it what you will) has a funny way of coming in really pretty packaging, so when you just take a minute to look you start getting second thoughts.

    Thanks Josh!

  • That’s great! I think anyone, young or old, can benefit from it. Way to go Josh!
    Thanks for posting!!!

  • this is a really great comparison. It’s very true and reminds me to stay watchful on my part. thanks for posting it!
    ~Kay Morris♫

  • Very striking! It really *would* have been funny, but it is so true, I was frightened to think I know who have done that and…oh my goodness, they make it sound so good!
    Has anyone here ever went for a piece of candy? One piece. Well, maybe two. And before we know it our supper is ruined and we are sick!
    Thank you guys, I don’t know a single person who could say they were above that!

  • I meant to add that sin is like candy. It looks good, it tastes good too, but it makes us sick and dislike what is good!

  • Wow, that is aweome!!!!!! 🙂 What a fantastic picture of what sin can do to us if we let it!! That is soooooo true and so great!! You go Josh! I love that, thank you guys so much for sharing. It’s great.

    Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!

  • Wow, that was really great! It made me realize that I can’t get comfortable with sin in my life. This really goes along wit hthe post about reasons not to sin. Getting comfortable with evil in my life will make the good things “tasteless”.

    Camille E.

  • I think that your brother is one of the smartest people I ever hope to meet, not even just him your whole family. you are all so smart and trusting in God.

  • Great sermon. He is a talented orator, he makes his point very well. This is what we must do with all things find the goodness and reject the evil. It is just to bad that so many times evil gets the label good put on it. We must be wise, using the Bible as our guide.


  • Excellent sermon! What an awesome visual picture to drive the point home with! You can see Josh’s passion for teaching in his words. Great job. 😀 😀 😀

  • AWESOME message!! I love his way of delivering a powerful message while still making it realistic and tangible. His sense of humor is really good (great acting with the beanbag :)). This is especially powerful for me as a new college student who is faced with evil almost every day at the campus. Thanks for posting this!
    In Christ,

  • That was great i loved it. What a good picture of what sin can do to us if were not careful. Tell josh that he was great =D

  • Seeing something concrete makes such a difference in how you absorb what before was not so obvious. May God bless our time in Washington. Thank you so much for making a difference in our lives.

  • This was an excellent clip. His applications are also applicable to 1 John 3:28-12, which talk about the contrast between God’s children and Satan’s children. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • For me this video was kind of like someone screaming “WAKE UP!” Some things that are happening in my life that need to stop and I need to fully turn my eyes on Jesus. Thanks for posting this! I really appreciated it! 🙂

  • Wow! What a perfect illustration of how harmless sin looks! I used to fear being seen as “childlike” and innocent by other young adults… but God has been showing me so much about His higher desires for my life in these past few years. What an encouraging video! I can’t wait to share it with others. I’ve enjoyed reading several of Josh’s books and really appreciate his passion for the truth. Thanks for posting this!

    God bless!

  • I love that illustration! Funny and incredibly convicting… I think every Christian can relate to this, how easy it is to become ensnared. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Btw, I wrote an article on this recently, using my shower as an illustration. My shower always starts off really hot when I turn it on, so I turn down the heat by literally 1 mm… and the next thing I know, the water’s freezing cold. I’ve found this to be true for my relationship with God: if I turn down my passion for him by a single millimeter thinking it won’t do any harm, I’m bound to swerve out of control. (The article is here, if you’d like to see it:

  • Awesome video guys 🙂 LOL 🙂
    Alex and Brett have you heard of Tim Hawkins? if not you should go to youtube and watch some of his videos (he’s a christian comedian who has written different lyrics to old songs and songs like “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman

  • That was a very good message. I enjoyed it, I am new on here and wanting to show my children a better way of like. Getting eaten by beanbag was not an idea i had. Very Creative.

  • I’ve seen tim hawkins, and by far, he is my FAVORITE comedian. He’s very funny. I saw him live last year. He was hilarious!
    ~Kay Morris♫

  • That is the truest illustration on that subject I have ever seen. The message is so true; that is exactly how sin takes hold of a person’s life. Thank you Alex and Brett for posting this.

  • Very God-glorifying! I found it to be a good illustration of Psalm 1:1-“Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” Mr. Harris began just walking the vicinity of evil, then was close enough to just stand in the presence thereof, only to eventually sit “in the seat of the scornful.” Charles Spurgeon made a quote like that: “If you do not kill sin, sin will kill you.”
    Thanks again and God bless!

  • Fabulous!!! I wish the WORLD could view and listen to sermons like this everyday!! thank you for posting this. I have just about finished your book DO HARD THINGS and want to give a copy to anyone and everyone! OUTSTANDING job. No words can express the miracle of inspiration you young men have had the guts to do, well done faithful servants of God! I too, have started a Rebelution recently with a new company and you have inspired me to no end. Thank you. Gina SoulBeGood!

  • That was awesome!! So true how sin pulls us in and how hard it is to get back to where we were with God. There is SUCH a difference between the here with God and “over there”.

    Thanks for sharing!

    God Bless!

    Founder of Jumps 4 Joy

  • Camille E.,

    Tim Hawkins is a Christian comedian. He usually will take a song a change the lyrics into something goofy. 😉 You should be able to find a lot of his videos on Youtube. A word of caution though, he can be a little crass at points. But most of the time he is pretty hilarious!

    Sarah 🙂

  • Camille E, Tim Hawkins is a Christian comedian. He is very funny and always clean. You can look him up on YouTube or GodTube. I think you’ll get a laugh or two from his videos. 😀
    ~Kay Morris♫

  • This is great! It’s awesome to see how God has continued to use Joshua! His book I Kissed Dating Goodbye has really been a great Godly guide to living my life, and to see that he has continued to let God use him, is a great encouragement!

  • That was both hilarious and very powerful!
    It’s so true, we may think that sin doesn’t look that bad from afar, so we move closer.
    But soon we are traped and can’t get out.

    I know in my life I need to be on the look out for sin in any form, but only with the Help of God is that possible!

    God Bless

  • Hi Alex and Brett,

    This is kinda off subject but not really– we just listened to the interview that y’all did with Gloria Gaither. It was really good! You’re exactly right about how most grandparents indulge their grandkids instead of challenging them to do hard things.

    Thanks also for the reminders (always needed!) to do hard things!

    Sarah and Rebekah in MS

  • thank so much for this video. it’s truly a reminder to all of us, Christians to not just get rid of sin, but hate it, not turn to it but rather turn away from it. thanks bro. Joshua Harris.

    God bless!

    a sinner saved by grace,

  • That was such an amazing messge. We’re blessed to have him as our senior pastor! God really used it to open up my eyes to a guy friend of mine who was like that “beanbag of evil” for me and He has so graciously pointed me in the right direction!


  • That was cool…I was reminded of the people who are trained to recognize counterfeit money — they don’t study the counterfeits, they study the real thing over and over again, until they are able to recognize ANY deviation from the real bills. I’ve been thinking about the topic lately, and I thought “how can I be informed and mature if I’m naive?” But this connected the dots for me. Study the right way to go, know it by heart, and you’ll automatically be able to recognize evil.

    ps. My uncle’s family goes to CLC!! I’ve been a couple of times. I just thought that was cool.

  • Wow. it is so sad how easily we slip into that trap of, “well hey, im one step closer and im still alive. it must not be that bad.” ive done that many times. I also like what Madeline said about studying the right thing so you will recognize the the wrong thing.I know so many people who would really benefit from this. Keep it up. and God Bless!! 🙂

  • That was an awesome sermon!! The Lord is clearly working through! It’s so easy to get tangled up in the things this world offers and the things this world accepts.. Being different is in today’s world is incredibly hard!!! Thank you so much for preaching a sermon like that and for posting it on Utube for anyone in the world to see… I pray God Bless’s you through that and that you continue to do His work! Thank you!!
    God Bless

  • But what about being stuck in evil ways and wanting to get out…
    We all make mistakes, right? What about when you’ve gotten to the point where you’re there in the evil and you decided “uh-oh, this was dumb” and you want to leave and get free and change.
    I guess thats one of those “hard things” you have to do…

  • Elora: Yeah, good question. I guess you would just pray, I mean, God knows that we are going to make mistakes, so he has a plan. We just need to turn to him. There are always consiquences, but he’s always there to forgive us. Anyway, that’s what I think. 🙂 You may have not even been asking a question.


  • Wow; that really explained how to turn away from the bad things in life. And shows you how otheres are evil and disobediante to god. Think of those things, study those things and off of others bad choices turn them into your own and make them all good choices.

  • I loved it when Josh was standing right next to the beanbag and comments “God seems really far away, I don’t know why”. Good reminder that sometimes it’s our sin that’s keeping us from open communion with God!

  • I am so glad he taught about this! I have been waiting for this encouragement for a long time! Praise the Lord.
    Thanks a lot for posting this guys. It’s amazing to see what a little change can do!

  • From a 35-yr old mom… I was impressed by what I heard about the Rebelution… happened upon this website and video… my children are young right now. I hope and pray we can help them to hold to these standards as they grow… how do you do that in a world like ours…

  • Great example, Josh! We need to be reminded over and over again how evil evil really is. And I have been thinking about the fact that sin is not so much a *place*, but rather a *direction* that we choose to go in. Thus, turning toward evil is a far more powerfully dangerous thing than we ever imagined it would be.
    Anyway, thanks so much for speaking the truth of God’s Word to your brothers and sisters!
    God bless you and the work He is doing in and through you!

  • Hahaha that’s awesome! I had no idea Josh was your brother. I’m a big fan of his books never knew you guys were related. 🙂 Goes to show how blonde i can be. hehe

  • I came upstairs and my family was watching this. My little brothers were giggling hysterically and the four-year-old told me “He got eaten by evil!”

  • Dear Harris brothers and others,

    That is very true. The devil is always trying to deceive you into thinking that sin and evil is good and that it won’t hurt you, but when you are innocent of sin you can turn to God in faith much easier than you could when you were under “The Beanbag of Evil” in a sense.

    God is revealing more to you than I have seen most everywhere else.

    I hope that this brings you encouragement.

    Thank you,
    your brother in Christ,

  • Absolutely true! I see it happening in my life and in the lives of those around me. Truly convicting! Every time I watch one of Mr. Harris’s sermons, I know I’ll be getting something from it.

  • That was a really good sermon; I’m going to post it on my blog. Like Alex & Brett, I just love the way Josh demonstrated evil. I’m gonna remember it. Thankyou so much for posting it! 🙂


  • Wow this is fantastic! And so true, I can see the happenings in my life like this. And it was accurately discribed, now I see how this works.

    Thanks guys!

  • That was awesome! Evil,foolishness,beanbag,the boogie man is not soemthing we need to know about! that was great!

  • I don’t think I have ever heard anyone speak that well on evil. When he said that evil is something we should be inoccent of I was really convicted. Great!!!!

  • Whoa! I’m thoroughly challenged right now! I see so many people saying evil is cool, at least okay, but it’s not! If God hates it–I SHOULD HATE IT! Being innocent is okay, it’s wonderful! Praise the Lord for how he’s spared me from so much evil! Lord, help me turn my back on it every day!

    Also, that was hilarious:)

  • Just wanted to add…
    We make fun of evil way too much! Evil is almost funny to us. The ‘greatest jokes’ usually make light of what God hates! Alot of kids, even in my youth group make gay jokes–did we forget sodom and gomorrah? Ever read Romans chapter 1? I’m sure God isn’t laughing

  • Wow. Y’know, that was really interesting the way he did it. And I like what he said about being child-like. Alot of people I know think I’m immature, people younger than me have even called me a child. Sometimes it feels so awkward because I can’t say that I know too many other people who are like that. But when he said, “Feel good about that” I was just like ,”wow, I never thought of it like that before.” It’s just so upsetting to see young people who are so beyond their age because of what they give their time to, even people who profess to be Christians. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you guys for putting this up and I thank God for the message! I’ll be sure to remember it next time someone tells me to grow up when I don’t do what they think I should.

  • I really liked this message. It really makes you stop and think about hte way you are living. Thanks for posting.

  • This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  • I cannot view this video anymore since it is “private”. Is there a way to view it somewhere? Please let me know!

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 →