Procrastination is destructive. The word procrastination is not in the Bible. One of the best definitions for procrastination is delaying. Deut 7:9-10 tells us that God does not delay; he’s always on time.
People procrastinate when they know something is not due till a later date. However, some projects require so much time and effort that to work at it a little bit at a time will avoid a tornado of stress as the procrastinator experiences at the last minute. Then, the results usually are not the best that could be accomplished if more planning and execution were done ahead of time. Now some people believe they work best under pressure. The reason they think they do is because they’ve not done things ahead of time and are always under pressure.
Procrastination is more than late assignments, neglecting your health or delaying projects around the house. People’s procrastination has negative spiritual effects. Selfishness, laziness, and lack of self-control are all causes of procrastination.
James 3:15-16 says, ”For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”
How does selfishness and selfish ambition apply to procrastination. When you put off a task of caring for others or serving where God has placed you, you become selfish with your time normally to satisfy your own interests, cares, profit, or pleasure.
The universal problem of laziness delays more good that could be done because people want to avoid the negative physical, mental, or social consequences that might result, so they sleep through responsibilities. God has given us commands to live by whether we be at home, church, school, or on the job. Proverbs 6:6-11 says, “Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”
Thirdly, besides selfishness and laziness that cause people to delay what is clearly God’s will to do, procrastinators lack self-control. In other words, they can’t make themselves do what has to be done whether they like it or not.
When procrastination becomes habitual, a person’s life is ruled by it. One person’s delay causes another’s delay. Eventually, others are put behind, causing a domino effect that not only impacts the procrastinator but can cause distress to other people. Examples of this are in the home, church projects, and workplace (especially the construction trades where an electrician procrastinates, drywall hangers and finishers are delayed, then the painters, etc. Delay can cause others to be unemployed without income for their families.
How will you break your procrastination?
• Be eternally minded—life is short. You have only one life to live and it will soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last.
• Be others minded, Phil. 2 tells us to put others before ourselves
We’re not saying that people should not take time to relax. However, when the main goal of life is relaxation and pleasure, who’s going to keep the house from falling in. Who’s going to help your neighbor? Who’s going to care for the sick? Who’s going to financially support the church’s ministry? Who’s going to serve our children as teachers? Who’s going to set the example for the next generation of what it means to be a servant? Who’s going to encourage the hurting among us or witness to the unsaved?
Thirdly, to break procrastination, you must have a self-controlled mind. Self-discipline is not easy when there’s so many ways to get self-gratification—TV, cell phones, computers, social media, food, etc. Consider, my friends, how any of these things have caused you to sin against God by putting them before him.
Fourth, have a repentant mind. Confess to God your procrastination and confess to others you’ve wronged because your procrastination has cause them distress.
Recently, a man who surrendered his life to the Lord, exclaimed, “I rejected him for so long.” When you reject Christ for some other time, you harden yourself to ever receiving him. Be willing to deal with your sin, quit allowing yourself to think only in terms of your personal agenda, and avoid thinking that happiness is only found in self- gratification.
Are you procrastinating about giving your life to Christ? For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2).
Written and submitted by the Rev. Douglas A. Stull.