Student Leadership 401: 360 Leadership

Day 3 of 3 • This day’s reading


Day Three: Do the Hard Thing

Nobody can do the minimum and reach their maximum potential.

Chances are you’ve heard the Easter story and celebrated Jesus’ resurrection and the empty grave, yet most of us fail to grasp the reality of that situation for Mary Magdalene.

What Mary Magdalene did that day was not an easy thing.

She could have stayed home. Strike that — she should have stayed home. As a follower of Jesus, it was dangerous for her to be out in the open following His crucifixion. Even the disciples, the ones considered Jesus’ best friends, refused to come out of hiding for their own safety. But sometimes commitment will defy common sense.

Mary Magdalene chose to do the hard thing and visited Jesus’ tomb so she could honor Him with the Jewish culture’s burial rights. And, well, you probably know what happened next.

When Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty, she immediately ran and told the disciples. She then returned to see if there was anyone around the grave who knew what happened to the body, once again putting herself in a dangerous position.

Mary Magdalene didn’t know she was going to be the first person to see Jesus after His greatest miracle. She thought He was dead because she was one of the few friends who saw Him die… and when people die, that’s usually it. She wasn’t seeking a reward that day and she certainly didn’t expect to witness the miracle of all miracles — she was just doing the job nobody else had the guts to do because even though it was the hard thing, it was also the right thing. And she wasn’t just committed to a process — she was committed to a person.

The best blessings are often found on the other side of doing the hard thing. A good reputation? That’s the result of consistently choosing to do the right thing, which isn’t easy. A healthy body? That’s the result of consistently making healthy choices, which isn’t easy. Good friendships? They’re the result of consistently showing up, having hard conversations, extending forgiveness, and loving others more than yourself, which is hard work.

Maybe the hard thing for you looks like staying behind to help clean up after an event. Or maybe it’s as simple as working on an assignment early instead of waiting until the last minute. Maybe it’s speaking up for what’s right when it would be easier to stay silent.

As we close out this devotional, we want to encourage you to go the extra mile. Take ownership of something this week. Commit to forming a new, healthy habit. Do the hard thing, and watch your leadership grow.