rebelling against low expectations

The Danger of Doing Hard Things Without Jesus

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The race is set before you.

At the sound of go, you’re off, sprinting down the track. The wind combs through your hair, freedom coursing through your veins. The second mile is down, two more to go. You give it all you have, quickening your speed, steadily catching up with the runner in front. Just as you begin inwardly celebrating, you notice something–your shoe lace came untied.

You pause for a quick second, runners passing you by, your heart jumping in suspense as you tie up your laces on the track. Getting back up is always hardest, and your chance of winning is unlikely now.

But you do it anyway.

Everyone expected you to keep running and ignore your untied shoe lace. But you remember what happened when you did that before. You tripped. You hurt yourself and couldn’t run for weeks.

This time you got back up, kept running, but you didn’t ignore what caused a stumble in the race last time. And that was the hardest thing to do.

Untied Shoes in the Race of Life

Trying to do hard things apart from Jesus is like running with your shoes untied.

This is how I felt a few months ago. I didn’t know or see it at the time, until I tripped. My pace was weakened. I was hurt and exhausted. God showed me that I was attempting to do hard things–even the small, hardly noticeable hard things–by myself. I was running with my shoes untied.

Doing hard things without Jesus hurts. Because the beautiful mission and mindset of a rebelutionary is doing hard things with Jesus, for Jesus–an adventure run on the source of his strength.

Doing hard things without Jesus hurts. Because the beautiful mission and mindset of a rebelutionary is doing hard things with Jesus, for Jesus--an adventure run on the source of his strength. Click To Tweet

I missed out on this exhilarating adventure of doing hard things when I steered my way through the race without humbling myself and admitting that I’m weak. I thought, at first, that my mindset and mission behind doing hard things was good. But my heart, so easily appealed by control and independence, said differently.

And that’s when God tapped on my shoulder and pointed out how I was running with my shoes untied. I was reminded, yet again, of my desperate need for him. When I attempt to create beauty, and do hard things in my own strength, I’m guaranteed failure. Like an empty vessel, without him filling me, I have nothing to offer.

I had to let go of my try-hard ways and embrace the sufficiency of his grace and strength. I had to humbly pause while some passed me by and ask God to reevaluate my heart–the core of my mindset and mission behind doing hard things.

And maybe you do too.

Your “Do Hard Things” Mindset and Mission

We can be driven to do hard things. We can be motivated. We can be armed with eagerness to set sparks of change in our world.

But we need to be honest–where is our heart? Who do we do hard things for, why do we do hard things, and what is our mission?

These things matter far more to God than a list of accomplishments and success.

Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, and God, these questions. Where your mindset, mission, and heart is matters to him. And it should matter to you.

Where your mindset, mission, and heart is matters to God. And it should matter to you. Click To Tweet

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 2:1-4)

Will you join me in aligning our mindset and mission with his? Let’s tie up our shoe laces and never miss out on the adventure of doing hard things–with Jesus, for Jesus.

About the author

Katelyn Brown

is a 16-year-old writer, Jesus-follower, and sister to three siblings who keep her life fun and lively. She loves photography, good books, black & white shows from the fifties, and encouraging her peers to live life as they were created to---in radical pursuit of Jesus.

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 →

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