Authors: Sadie Robertson
Thank you for downloading this Howard Books eBook.
Join our mailing list and get updates on new releases, deals, bonus content and other great books from Howard Books and Simon & Schuster.
or visit us online to sign up at
For my lovely grandmas, who have taught me how to stay true to myself. For my mom, who has called me “original” since I was five and helps me live it. Also for my older cousin Katelyn, whom I have always looked up to and who, as she says, has “put some tools in my toolbox for life.”
hen Willie and I started calling Sadie “the Original” back when she was just a cute little girl missing her two front teeth and wearing pigtails, I never dreamed I would be writing the foreword to her book. I knew God had great plans for her because He told me so in His Word, but I had no idea what they would be. We couldn’t be more proud of the godly girl she has become and for the ways we’ve seen her live up to her nickname.
She has done this by listening to God’s voice amid all the other voices that are speaking to her and to teenagers just like you—voices that say things like: “If you don’t act, dress, and talk like everyone else, you aren’t cool.” Or “If you aren’t skinny and rich, and don’t look like a supermodel, you aren’t worth anything.” Or “If you don’t do this, try that, go there, you’re a nobody,” and on and on.
Living original means being free from all of that. And I can promise you, it’s much better on the other side. So come on in, the water’s fine! God’s voice says nothing can separate you from His love; you are chosen; you are the light of this world; you are a daughter of the King; with Him you can do anything. Doesn’t that sound nice? That’s what God offers you. That’s what comes with living a life that’s not like the crowd, a life that’s original!
You don’t have to have a television show, speak in front of thousands of people, or write a book to live a life that’s original. You
have to use the gifts that God has given you. God has a great plan for
too. What will you do with this life on earth that you have been given? The experiences you have had in your lifetime are unique to you. Good or bad, they are yours, nobody else’s. They are your story. You get to choose what you will do with them.
Don’t think you are too young to make a difference, and don’t tell yourself you’ll straighten up your act and start living for God when you get older. God says do it now. He actually says we adults should become more like little children. He says that as young people, you should not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but you should set an example for believers and start now living a life that is worthy of respect. He’s talking to you! Young people have unique abilities and energy that we sometimes lose when we are adults.
You can make a difference in your school, in your home, and even in your community. I hope after reading this book you’ll have a solid plan for how
can live original. It won’t always be easy, but I can promise you, it’ll be worth it!
—Korie Robertson, Sadie’s mom
’ve been thinking about the world lately. I know; it’s a big subject. So let me narrow it down a bit. When I say “the world,” I’m not talking about continents and oceans. I’m talking about everything around us—all the things that influence us every day. I’m talking about what people do and say, what they value, how they live, and what they think is cool or right.
I guess I could try to fit into “the world,” but fitting in is not what’s most important to me. What’s most important to me is living the way God says to live. If the world likes me that way, great, and if the world doesn’t, I’m okay with that. I’m going to stick with God and live His way anyway.
The Bible verse that inspires me to live God’s way is Romans 12:2:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The world and the Bible show two completely different ways to live. The world is full of false advertising. For example, it tells us we can have more fun if we take drugs. It does not say much about the fact that drugs are addictive or that too many can damage people for life or that they can cost them all their money. Even things that are less physically harmful than drugs, like gossiping or cheating, the world seems to think are okay, because “everyone does it.” The world says a lot of things are not bad and will not hurt us, when God says they are bad and will hurt us.
A point I want to make now and will make again later in the book is something my parents have told me all my life: God tells us how to live because He wants us to live good, happy lives. He is not into handing out a bunch of rules and then watching us to see if we slip up. The things He tells us to do are designed to help us be the very best we can be and to help us enjoy our lives to the max. God is not a human being, so He doesn’t think and act the way people do. He’s always loving and forgiving, and He always tries to help us. He’s always on our side, and He’s always got our back. And in the Bible He tells us to be like Him. It’s impossible to totally do that, I know, but if we are trying, then we are going in the right direction.
When the Bible says not to “copy the behavior and customs of this world,” it means not to just live like a copy of someone else. It means to live original. I’ll write a lot more about how to live original in the last chapter of the book. But for now, I just want to say that living original (which is another way of saying, “Just be yourself—and be great at it”) takes courage. It also brings amazing rewards.
Sometimes people try to be original or stand out from everyone else by being different in some way. They might wear crazy clothes or costumes, or put on dramatic makeup or have a hairstyle or hair color that draws attention. I’m all for people expressing themselves in fun ways, but the kind of living original I am talking about is not
about that. This book is not about how to make yourself stand out from the crowd just for the sake of standing out.
Living original doesn’t mean being different just to be different; it means being a new kind of different—a different based on knowing who you are, knowing who God is, and being confident that He made you in a really cool, unique way. There’s no one else on earth like you, and that makes you incredibly special. If you can see how special you are and be strong in it, there is no limit to what you can do and become in life, or to how much you can enjoy it.
If you will step out and do something good, you might just be amazed at how much people will like and appreciate it. If you are willing to be different in positive ways, you will feel really good about yourself, you will have more confidence, and you can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
I have been surprised to see that many people really want to do something good in the world but are waiting for someone else to do it first. Just think about it. If you are sitting in class and the teacher asks a question, people are sometimes hesitant to answer, but once one person answers, others start talking too.
I learned this from personal experience at camp one summer. We were having something called Testimony Night, which is an opportunity for people to share what God is doing in their lives. At first, people were pretty shy about it, but then my cousin Reed got up and said some things that were so good they made me cry. When he finished, the youth minister asked me to get up and speak, so I did. Once Reed and I spoke, lots of other people started sharing things with the group. They just needed to see other people do it,
and that gave them confidence. We ended up staying there for two hours just listening to people telling their stories.
All the chapters in this book are intended to help you live in a new and different way and to help you find the confidence to live original. In them, I will share some of the lessons I have learned and some I am learning now. I will introduce you to some of the people who have inspired me and made a difference in my life. I’ll share some stories about my family and myself and pass along some of the great advice other people have given me about living a good, happy life. I hope the things I have learned will challenge you, inspire you, and make you think about how you want to live.
If you are in a situation where you want to make some different choices so you can live a better life, this book will help you get off to a good start. I’m really glad you’re reading it. I hope it will encourage you to be a new kind of different and to live original. After all, that’s where you’ll find your very best self and your very best life.
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
—Psalm 68:3, NIV
Think Happy, Be Happy
f there is one thing my family hears a lot, it’s this: “Happy, happy, happy.” My grandfather Phil Robertson, whom I call “Papaw Phil,” is famous for these words, and I am glad he is. I like being part of a family that’s happy! I know that not everyone has a happy family, but we can still choose to live a happy life, because happiness starts with what’s inside of us, not with what we have or do not have. If we can think happy, we can be happy.
When I was in junior high school, I learned a song called “Garbage in, Garbage Out.” I liked it because of the words, and so I played the song for my eighth-grade Bible class and gave a speech about it.
I learned an important lesson from that song:
what you think about will come out in your life.
If you put garbage into your mind, garbage will come out. It’s just like what happens if you put junk food into your body. If you eat nothing but chips and desserts, you will not end up being lean and fit and strong. To put it politely, you’ll be the opposite. In the same way, if you fill your mind with negative thoughts, bad words, or ideas that are not nice or respectful
toward others, you will eventually think bad thoughts, use bad language, and act on bad ideas. The good thing about the “garbage in, garbage out” principle is that it also means that if you fill your mind with positive thoughts, encouraging words, and ideas about how to be kind or how to be a good friend, then all those things will show up in the way you act and eventually become the way you live.