Rebels for Christ: Harris Twins Challenge Teens to Do Hard Things
- Thursday, July 24, 2008
CW: You talk about five kinds of "hard" in your book. Why are these so important to recognize?
BH: The five kinds of hard are categories that we came up with while we were writing the book to help people identify areas or ways that they could apply the message:  Doing things that take you outside your comfort zone,  doing things that go above and beyond what's expected or required,  doing big things that are too big to do alone,  things that don't pay off immediately -- the small hard things,  and then finally things that take a stand [against the crowd].
It is really helpful, in our opinion, to give people categories as opposed to a list of, you know, "You need to do your schoolwork," because each person is going to be different. We give examples in all these categories of what we are talking about, but the goal is for each person to say, "God, what have you called me particularly to do, and what is my holy ambition, the thing that I really, really want to do, and You want me to do also?"
CW: Beyond recognizing the five kinds of hard, you write about three pillars of rebelution: Character, Competence, and Collaboration. Could you spend a little bit of time explaining those?
BH: As far as the three pillars, [these] are three things that we believe are crucial to any endeavor. We need to have character first of all, which is doing [hard] things for the right reasons, you know, having the right motives, being distressed or even righteously angry. You really have to have a changed heart by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to have pure motives … because it is so easy for people to do things for selfish reasons, for the wrong reasons, for personal glory.
So, we think character is so crucial, but the problem is there are a lot of Christians who have great character, who are motivated for the right reasons ... but they don't have the competence to actually carry them out. They are angry, they are upset with the world, but they are not able to change the world. Competence, we believe is not just an issue of gifts or natural ability, it is really just an issue of preparation. We develop competence by exerting ourselves, building up that muscle, and then having them [character and competence] together, because there are plenty of very competent people who are doing very destructive things. Hitler, for instance, would be someone who was very good at what he did, but what he did was very wrong and very evil.
But even if you have character and competence ... if you're a lone ranger, you're in trouble. You are not going to be able to really accomplish those big history-shaping things. So, we really stress collaboration as not only a way to do exponentially more, but as a way to compensate for what you lack maybe in competence, to have the humility and the character to recognize, "Here's where I am weak, I could use someone to help me."
CW: I have to say you guys did a really good job with the book. You mention that you cannot take any of the credit, and something that really struck me about meeting you is how you are an ordinary teen. But a lot of people may read your book and think, Wow, that is great, but where do I start? What can you tell people who want to start doing hard things, but feel like you guys are probably special, probably gifted, while they are just typical teenagers?
BH: God does give different gifts to people. Other people might not be called to write books or speak at conferences or intern at Supreme Courts. [So] we wrestled with the feelings of "Are we different, can we relate?" when we wrote the book. Then we realized, well, we are totally the same [as other teens], we are just living a different way. We definitely shun the label of prodigy. We took one simple step of starting a blog, which any young person can do, and it did explode. The fact that we have done some of these things is, in our view, just intended to be an example that these ideas do work, and ... gives us a level of credibility.
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