You ought to go to church. You ought to read your Bible, eat right, quit smoking, pay your tithes, and be a better mom… dad… husband… wife… yodeler, underwater basket-weaver, etc.
Change is hard. And it’s hard because, usually, it starts from the outside in. We experience changes in employment, health, finances, family, and friendships and then our hearts must adapt quickly to keep up with those external changes.
When I was in my early twenties, I served as Lead Pastor at a church in Kentucky. I entered ministry only halfway broken free of the shell of my extreme introversion, and I often gave into the desire to hide from people – not because I didn’t love them, but because I was intimidated by nearly everyone I didn’t know well. That’s a problem in ministry.
Jesus met with Nicodemus in the night, a relationally broken woman at a Samaritan well, and Matthew at a party thrown for tax collectors. He befriended prostitutes, recruited zealots, and pronounced forgiveness for known adulterers. God, in Christ, has definitely demonstrated his willingness to go to the gutters of society to change the lives of sinners by his truth and grace.
In the Mel Gibson classic, The Patriot, Benjamin Martin shares a word of instruction with his sons about shooting: “Aim small, miss small.” In other words, don’t just shoot aimlessly. Zero in on a single point and even if you miss, you’ll hit something vital very near the mark.