Book Review: Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris


Title: Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are
Authors: Alex & Brett Harris
Publisher: Multnohmah

In their first book, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, Alex & Brett Harris challenged and inspired young people around the world to stop wasting their teen years and make the most of them for the glory of God. But many were left asking the question, “How do I start?”

That’s why the Harris brothers wrote Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are to provide answers to tackle the questions that arise from a desire to do hard things.

Surpassing it’s Target Audience

The sign of a good book is its ability to surpass its target audience. Although directed at teens, adults of all ages will find as much to benefit from Start Here as will any teen “rebelutionary.” The advice found in its pages is practical, thoughtful, honest and thoroughly biblical. The testimonies of real young people who are doing hard things are encouraging and inspiring. And I think that’s why their message resonates with so many readers. A wasted life is a fruitless life and the Christian life is to be abundantly fruitful.

Don’t Be Busy, Be Fruitful

One point I particularly appreciated is that busyness doesn’t equal fruitfulness: 

Over the past few years, we have needed to remind ourselves constantly of the difference between busyness (having a lot to do) and fruitfulness (accomplishing something of eternal significance). . . .

If you are a busy person, ask yourself, What kind of busy am I? Are you intentionally busy, with purposeful, fruitful work? Or are you busy in the sense that you’re always doing something, don’t have any extra time during the day, and feel tired and irritated a lot? (pp. 56, 57-78)

The brothers go on to say, “It takes courage to manage time well—and to invest time well—because it takes courage to say yes or no to opportunities based on God’s direction rather than on our culture’s assumptions” (p. 59).

This is not something I do well and never have done well to be honest. But is it better to do a smaller number of things with excellence or do a mediocre job at a larger number? Which is more glorifying to God?

Perseverance Despite the Pressure

Running throughout the entire book is the theme of perseverance. Doing hard things is exactly that—hard. Whether you’re doing something that’s extraordinary or extraordinarily ordinary, it’s never easy. There are always setbacks, failures, frustrations… And sometimes what set out to do just won’t happen the way we expect. Sometimes it will be more appealing to quit than to press forward. But if you’re doing a hard thing, keep going, urge Alex & Brett:

Just because a giant obstacle stands in your path, that doesn’t mean the door has closed. Just because your plans fell through doesn’t mean your hard thing has failed. Either of these circumstances could mean that God wants to grow your faith by giving you the strength to overcome—or simply to see Him at work in a different way than you expected. (p. 84)It takes perseverance to build godly character, and that’s what doing hard things is all about.

Ready to Start?

Start Here shows readers the possibilities of what can happen when we set out to do hard things for the glory of God. Through the testimonies of young adults who’ve taken up the challenge and a lot of practical wisdom, Alex & Brett Harris provide insightful answers to the big questions that come up along the way and paint an exciting picture of a fruitful life. Read the book and pray to discover how God wants you to start doing hard things for His glory and your joy.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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