This morning I went on twitter and I saw something that caught my attention. Someone tweeted this, and I quote:
“It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even call it procrastinating anymore, I should just call it jeopardizing my future”.
Why did it catch my attention you might ask? Well its simply because I can relate to that. You see I have been procrastinating for almost a MONTH now and it didn’t dawn on me until I went to my first blog post and realized that my first post was on the 25th January 2015, which is 2 days away from making it a month. I did have a number of things to share with you but because of one singular thing PROCRASTINATION, I haven’t done so. This is not the first time…The tweet reminded me of my Uni days, where I’d hold off on my coursework to the last minute and it became the norm until it nearly jeopardised my future. Thank God for his mercies.
So when I saw that tweet, there was a nudge in my spirit to share on this because I know just like me a lot of people have mastered the deceitful art of procrastination and dare I say that it is NOT Okay rather it is a gamble with your life and destiny.
Again, this afternoon, a lady who read my blog sent a message to me and was like she’s so inspired and she was going to start a program that she’s been holding off on and would also like me (oh yes, I, me, she, her lol) to speak in the upcoming program, now while I was (still am) extremely honoured I couldn’t help but think, this was a month ago I put up this post, why today has she sent me this message? She also said in the message that “procrastination is deadly” and immediately I knew God was telling me something. I needed to share it!
Procrastination is “the act of wilfully delaying the doing of something that should be done”. Keywords: Wilfully, Delay, should BE DONE!
There are some principal truths on procrastination, which can help us understand that it is not Gods will that we don’t get to do things, which we ought to do at the time we ought to do them.
Lets start here, James 4:17
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin”. Isn’t that interesting? Procrastination is a sin. It isn’t the most obvious sin but it is one.
The interesting thing about it, however, is that people are very vocal about it. You see, when it comes to other things like lying, stealing, etc that we do (which isn’t cool by the way) we are not as opened about it like we are when it comes to procrastination. That got me thinking, why is it so? Is it that we think its cool? Or it’s not that bad? Or there’s nothing wrong with it? Or it’s not a sin?
I have come to realize that it’s a lack of awareness of the severity of procrastinating. It has been dressed in so many different ways that we don’t consider it to be so detrimental or ‘that bad’, that’s why its cool to say things like ‘I put the Pro in procrastination’ but you never hear things like ‘I’m such a great thief’ because of the simple awareness that thieving is wrong or bad.
Procrastination is one of the devils devices clothed in very appealing apparels so as to make us put it on and even feel very comfortable in it, except his sole mission is steal our vision, to kill our dreams and destroy our destiny. So basically anything to stop us from getting stuff done and getting it done at the appropriate time. However, God does warn us about such deceitfulness in his word;
Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin”. Sin can be deceitful, which means it is not always obvious. It comes in different ways, so lets not think that ‘oh there’s nothing wrong with procrastinating”. There are a number of things wrong with it and here’s some of it:
The soul of the sluggard (procrastinator) craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Look carefully then when you walk not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the lord is.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
From the last scripture we do see the importance of guarding our hearts because even when we want to do the right thing, the devil tries to entice us with evil thoughts (go and watch just one episode of Scandal, just nap for an hour, go on twitter for just 5 mins, or instagram for 10 mins)… It’s the sad truth but these are some of his vices that cause us to procrastinate. Often times, we know the right thing to do and how to do it but we just hold off on doing for various reasons. Sometimes we ask ourselves, I know the things I ought to do and I don’t do them. And I know the things I shouldn’t do and I do those. But I procrastinate on the things I really want to change in my life. Why?
People say procrastination could be as a result of Laziness, Fear/Anxiety, Perfectionism amongst other things. But there are also truths in the Bible concerning these.
Laziness: Proverbs 15:19
The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Perfectionism: Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Fear: 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Anxiety: Phillipians 4:6-8
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Whatever the cause of procrastinating, we see God has got our backs, so even when we scared of the unknown or anxious, instead of procrastinating we can run to his word and find peace and strength to go on. We need to take charge of our lives and not let the little pleasures hold us back from carrying out our assignments, whatever they may be. (doing our courseworks, projects, preaching the gospel, giving our lives to Christ). Lets not hold it off till tomorrow because tomorrow isn’t even certain.
James 4: 13-14
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Lets start by recognizing that it is indeed sin, then change our attitudes towards it and make practical steps to become diligent (like making a to-do list, setting goals, asking for help when needed, surrounding ourself with like-minded friends, praying earnestly, giving ourself a timeline amongst other things). Even when we fall short, we pray and encourage ourselves again. Its important that we start doing what should be done and start it now. Not Tomorrow! Lets not jeopardize our future.
We have it in us, through Christ, lets get it done Today!
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13