Sunday, August 15, 2010

Do Hard Things Tour 2010 - Part 2

This is a continuation of the post down there. *points below*

We left off with the question. How can i be an example to people who don't even expect me to care?

The answer is do hard things. Yeah, I know, not really appealing. But there are going to be so may benefits. How do we do this? What are some basic steps we can take to start doing hard things in the places and situations God has put us in? What are some truths about doing hard things?

#1-Recognize your sins. Overcoming sin is one of the hardest things we can do. It takes conviction (God has to show us our particular sins [not just generally].), honesty (To admit to ourselves that God is right, we're sinners.), humility (To ask for God's and other's forgiveness.), faith (Faith that God keeps His promises and will forgive and help us.), and obedience (to learn from our mistakes and continue in Godliness.).

The number one thing we can pray for in this area is that God will make us sensitive to our sins and remove our pride. Tackle your sins, guys. Don't let them sit. They might be small things (like forcing yourself not to hyperventalate when your mom asks you to do the dishes for the 1,000,000 time) or big things (like trying to overcome the problem of lust and anger control issues.) Let me encourage you guys to do something that some amazing people have encouraged me to do: If you know that you are sinning and are having a hard time overcoming it, tell someone. Oh, I know, it stinks having to be open with people and tell them what a loser and sinner you are. But you know what? We don't live for men, we live for God. And we are commanded to exhort and encourage one another. Do hard things. ;)

But back to my point (*head bang* I really really need to stop doing that!), tackling our sins is the most important hard thing we can do. Do hard things!

#2 - Battle discouragement and complacency. Definition of discouragement. "The feeling of despair in the face of obstacles." Definition of complacency. "The feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself. (a.k.a. pride [my words, btw])."

Don't let obstacles tear you down. I didn't take a bunch of notes during this part of the conference (My b) so I don't have a lot to say about it, BUT I have a verse (God's words are always better than mine anyhow!). James 1:2-4 2"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Because of the disappointments we face in life, God is going to teach us and mold us into a better Christian for His glory. Don't despair.

Mr. Complacency is our biggest enemy when it comes to doing hard things. Mr. C is a "good kid (see earlier post)." He goes to church, is a A+ student, handsome, can recite John 3:16, pretty good he's a good kid. Everyone praises Mr. C with lots of compliments. "You're such a good kid!" Mr. C starts getting a puffed up attitude. "I'm better than all the other heathens that get Bs and Cs in trigonometry and haven't read a word of the Bible." Mr. C lets himself slide. Hey, as long as he is doing better than everyone else, he's fine.

See the problem? This is a recipe for mediocrity. If our only goal in life is to be bigger than the next fish, we are cutting ourselves short! Mr. C is passive. He just lets himself do enough to be better. God calls us to so much more than this!

Doing hard things pushes us against complacency. Don't do the things that are hard for your friends so that you look good, do the things that are hard for you! Do things that are going to force you to break a sweat and gain some muscle. Do things that are going to force you to be more than you are! We cannot be content with the status we have reached and expect to grow or accomplish anything.

When people praise you, we need to think with out pride (1 Corinthians 4:7), "That was nothing! Watch this!" Then push to achieve something bigger and better. Not to be recognized, but to make much of the name of Christ. Do hard things!

#3 - Do more than is required. In the old days (I don't know when, sorry) people used to pray that God would deliver them from the Vikings! They were strangely successful. They would come with force and intensity that no one could match and out-do.

The only reason we can figure this out is that the vikings rowed their own war ships. Conclusion: These guys were seriously ripped. When they swung an ax at their enemies it wouldn't matter if they held a shield. Other ships had servants or someone else rowing the boats so they didn't have to do the work.

We can learn a lesson from these guys. Don't let other people do the heavy duty work for you. We need to develop our muscles. Spiritually, physically, and mentally. We can do that by going the extra mile. Matthew 5:41 "If someone forces you to walk with him one mile, go with him two."
Instead of doing the bare minimum in math homework do the extra problems and develop muscle. Do hard things!

#4 - Get over the fear of failure. Anything worth doing, is worth doing first. Then failing, and trying again. Then failing and trying again. Then failing and trying again.Then failing and trying again. Then failing and trying again.You get the point!

Brett gave us this example. It's like someone who isn't the strongest trying to do a hundred push-ups against someone who could do a hundred no sweat. The weaker one pushes and pushes, but fails in the end.The person who can do it no problem-o does it in a few minutes. Who got the better work out? The one that pushed to failure. Just because you fail at something doesn't mean it's no good! You are doing hard things. Push to failure if you have to. Don't do only the things that will be easy. How will you grow? Do hard things!

#5 - Focus on the small things. You don't have to organize a political campaign to do something hard. Just do the small things God has put in your path to do. Quote-that-I-don't-remember-who-quoted-it-my-bad: "If someone is a street sweeper, they should sweep streets like Michelangelo paints!" Embrace small things. Do them with excellency. Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." For the Glory of God! Do we think God doesn't look on us with favor because we aren't moving mountains or changing the world? No, He is pleased when we serve Him with excellence in anything we do. Fold the laundry every day? Fold it like Jesus served His Father in heaven. With excellency. To make more of His Father and less of himself. Do hard things!

#6 - It's your best life. People won't experience the joy of TRUE Christianity until they throw themselves head-first into serving God with every ounce of strength they have. Do hard things!

To finish off. In the last post, I told you all about a kid named George. Remember? That George grew up to be the first President of the United States. "Well," you say, "He was the president. He was supposed to do hard things as a kid. That's expected for people like that, not people like me."


President Washington grew up to be who he was because of how we applied himself as a teen. He pushed for excellency. He knew he had to develop muscles. And look what it did for him. It can do the same for us too. And the objective isn't to be the President. Well, maybe it is for you, but not for all of us. The real reason we need to do hard things is for the glory of God. Remember the words of John the baptist. John 3:30 "More of You and less of me." Doing hard things is good, but if it isn't for Christ there is absolutely no point.

1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

Instead of saying, "These are the best years of our lives, have fun while ya can." say "These are the best, most influential and shaping years of our lives, let's use them to work and mold us into the person we will be - to the glory of our Father, Jesus Christ."

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