So often we hear messages about what Christians are to do. Do this, do that. They're all about, "go and do," and they all seem to be prodding the "sheep" with the rod, rather than guiding the sheep with the staff. And sadly, sometimes the messages seem more like an outright beating of the sheep. That is not the Good Shepherd's desire. He loves His sheep and He leads them and guides them. Prodding with the rod is for correction and beating the sheep is not His way. Such messages are discomforting, depressing, and discouraging. They leave us with thoughts of, I can't do it. I mess up everything. I'll just fail. Why even try? I will never succeed. Being a Christian is just too hard.
And we wonder why youth are leaving the church, or why they just aren't getting it. Rules that seem impossible to keep and commands that seem too difficult to do, are messages that are discouraging and defeating and lead to apathy and apostasy.
Another type of message, that is not a directive like "go and do," is "get it done." This is about self-directed initiative. It's not the Shepherd prodding the sheep, it's the sheep directing themselves. "Get it done" says: Decide what you want to do and what you can do and then decide how, when and where you will do it. Get started and get going so you can "get it done."
Now, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that planning and projects are a bad thing. Nor am I saying that we should not try to do our best to keep God's commands and do His work. It's important that we all use the gifts God has given us and that we spend our time doing meaningful work. But all too often we "jump in" at the wrong starting point. All too often the "go and do" and "get it done" paths start with an unwilling heart and then it's hard, and often it's doomed.