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Is There Scriptural Proof That We Shouldn’t Procrastinate?
Another April is upon us. The tax man cometh for
Americans on the 15th. Have you already finished and submitted your returns? Or, are you like millions of Americans and have waited until the last minute to gather all of your documentation and begin the tiresome process of filing your taxes?
The old saying I heard growing up was “why do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” This is diametrically opposed to what we are taught in Proverbs 27:1:
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
I, myself, have been guilty of this “disease” from time to time. As I’ve grown older, things become more pressing and important to me to get finished. Kind of like this article—which I started in January.
Is Procrastination Laziness, Apathy Or Something Else?
Why do people procrastinate? Is it laziness? This could be true with the younger generations. There is so much time left, and there are so many exciting things to conquer. “It will keep,” some will say. “I’ve got plenty of time to get it done,” still others will claim.
Is it apathy? I’ve dealt with this issue in other endeavors. If it doesn’t affect them, they may not care one way or the other. Could it be a lack of motivation? Or could it be that a skillset has not been learned?
As a Christian, have you been forthcoming sharing the gospel, or have you told yourself, “Next time.” There is a line in a country song that many people agree with: “I want to go to heaven, I just don’t want to go right now.”
Tomorrow, On Earth, Is Not Promised
They are happy in their life, working hard and enjoying their material rewards. It’ll keep, won’t it? One thing I have learned in life is tomorrow is never promised here on earth. However, if you haven’t taken the step of recognizing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, eternity could be very uncomfortable.
Does the Bible mention procrastination? Not specifically, but there are numerous references throughout the Bible that will surely get your attention.
First, let’s examine two separate men who wished to be disciples of Jesus, but wanted to do something else first. In Luke 9:59, we read that Jesus commanded a man to come with him, but this man wanted to put off Jesus, to take care of what he deemed more urgent:
“And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.”
The response from Jesus has taken many aback: “Let the dead bury their dead” (Luke 9:60). Many preachers have not taken kindly to this verse. If you pray for discernment, you realize that the family members were not believers on Christ Jesus and had not been called to follow. Sadly, this man did not understand the urgency of the call from his Master, instead he was focused on worldly cares. What a revelation that realization is, isn’t it?
Next, a second man seeks to become a disciple, but he
procrastinates as well. Let’s look at Luke 9:61:
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.”
Jesus’ response should chill one to the bone: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). If you are not committed, you will be left behind.
Do not follow the lead of that country song, and put off your eternal salvation. Take heed to the warning given to John in Revelation 3:15-16:
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”
We are not commanded to seek material things, but to seek the kingdom of God. In Matthew 6:33-34 we read:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”
He Guides and He Provides
As a Christian, if we strive for righteousness, seeking of the Kingdom of God, then material things will be taken care of by God, for where He guides He provides. Each day has its own troubles and challenges to be taken care of. Do not compound them by procrastinating.
Jesus, in Luke 12:40, tells us to be ready: “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” But, if you have put off seeking the kingdom for another day, Jesus warns:
“But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” (Luke 12:45-47)
The motto of the Boys Scouts troop I was a member of taught us a slogan: “Always be prepared.” If you are prepared then you can meet any issue head on before it grows beyond belief.
The same was true with my high school coaches. The reason we practiced every day and watched film on our opponent was to make us aware of potential issues we might face on game day. We didn’t wait until the day of our game to hurriedly go over their tendencies or watch how they performed on offense and defense.
Preparation Is The Key To Success
Preparation is the key to success in all things. If you have a home church, how can you lead a Bible study without God’s Word and know it implicitly? When Paul and Silas came to Berea, the Bereans received the Word in readiness, eagerly examining the scriptures daily to make sure what was taught was factual. They didn’t wait until later and try to remember what was said.
Many refuse to judge because that is reserved for Jesus, but consider this—if that is the case then why would you trust any pastor completely? Jesus surely knows what is in every man’s heart, but you really have no idea. If you are not prepared, with the Bible in your heart and in-hand, how can you refute anything the pastor may teach?
Each and every day we awaken is a joyous gift to celebrate. The Lord has given us another day to go forth and witness to strangers about the powerful love Jesus has for us, and the kingdom that He has prepared for us. Jesus didn’t wait until we are all gathered in heaven to begin construction did He?
No! Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3).
We truly serve a loving master. Don’t wait until tomorrow to spread His love and grace. A kingdom awaits for us.