Doing the Hard Thing

In the election a couple of weeks ago, Asa Hutchinson was elected governor of my home state of Arkansas. I remember when he ran for the US House of Representatives and won, then knew that he was later held positions in the Drug Enforcement Agency and in Homeland Security. What I most remember was he served as a prosecutor during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trail. I remember political strategists saying that Hutchinson was committing career suicide for standing up against Arkansas’ beloved son. I thought that to be true after he lost a previous state-wide election for governor in 2006, but his victory this month serves as a lesson to us.

I have never met Asa Hutchinson, but I figure that he knew he would face political backlash in his home state if he took a stand against the President during the impeachment trial. Even if he never said anything but just was willing to hold the position, he knew there would be ramifications. However, Asa Hutchinson was called on to do a job, had the background to fulfill the responsibilities, and made the decision to do the hard thing- which is seldom popular.

All believers face the decision to do the hard thing every time we choose to live according to God’s Word in a world that is becoming more opposed to God. There may be ramifications, but we must choose to do what is hard.

In my passion for families, I think of the husband that sees issues that need addressed in his family. He knows that the children are not going to like it, and neither may his wife. But as he considers the possibilities, he chooses to do the hard thing. It may cause more problems immediately, and it may get real quiet around his house as he receives the silent treatment, but when he sees the needed outcome, doing the hard thing paid off.

Or what about the parents of a teenagers that begins to go down a road that the parents know first-hand will lead to disaster? Will the parents sit back and watch, or will they do the hard thing and risk upsetting their teen? One option is hard and not easy to do- but it is necessary.

As a pastor, I think back to the time I had to approach a deacon and his wife after the wife wrote multiple letters to people in the church about things that did not amount to anything. Her actions were beginning to impact the unity of the church, and I did not want to have the conversation. After I got them out of bed one Saturday morning and shared what was going on, there was usually a cold shoulder waiting on me, but I saw the unity and work of the church strengthen. Doing the hard thing paid off.

Life is constantly giving us opportunities to do the hard thing. Whether at work, home, church, or any other place of influence, decisions must be made. Some are easy to make, while others are hard. We must be prepared to do the hard thing, knowing that there are rewards on the other side of the decision.

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