I remember when my son was entering his teen years. I had such high internal stress thinking I only had a few years until he was eighteen and I had to prepare him with all the tools for manhood. Of course, this started before his teen years but now time was of the essence. It was around that time I came across a book that was entitled, “Do the Hard Things.” I don’t remember the author and I am not sure that was the exact title. However, I still remember a line from the book that says, “doing the hard things shows what we are made of and strengthens us for the journey ahead.” Doing this with your son lets him know you are with him, strengthens your relationship, and builds his confidence for the days when he is alone.
I thought and reflected on this with my son and how very true this is in our walks with Christ. There are many tough statements that the Lord gives us in scripture that we are actually told to do (Do the Hard Things) and some with great consequences. For instance…
James 5:16, Therefore, confess your sins one to another and pray for one another that you may be healed.
Matthew 6:14-15, For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
James 2:9, But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Matthew 18:35, So also my Heavenly Father will do to every one of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
Matthew 5:39, 41, 44, …Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
I think we get the idea and these are just a few. There are others that instruct us to take care of the widows and the fatherless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit those in jail, and by doing these you have done them unto me.
By doing these “Hard Things” together we will not only strengthen ourselves in the faith but in relation to one another. Most importantly, we are stepping out in faith by doing what the scripture says because we believe it. It is very easy for my eyes to glaze over when reading such passages, but they are there for a reason. They are there for me to have a healthy soul, faith, and life – to be like the One I follow.
If you need space to talk about these and other aspects of our faith I would enjoy such deep conversations. They are good and life-giving.