Procrastination — The Great Destroyer

Procrastination — The Great Destroyer

The effects of procrastination plague like rusting relics — visible and invisible evidence of the presence of the great destroyer. Why does procrastination invade so many of our lives, paralyzing us from making decisive decisions and confident actions.

As many as one quarter of people struggle under the weight of procrastination. Often the issue is linked to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or an inability to focus. Perhaps, it results from a combination of many factors. Whatever the reasons, we are all affected by it in some way.

This lack of confidence in making decisions and moving into action impact us all in so many ways. God knows the root lies deep and He says much on the subject. But one of the most sobering is this:

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
James 4:17

Whatever holds us back from doing the right thing or making the right choice, God counts as sin. That alone should be enough reason to take procrastination seriously and recognize it as a great destroyer of God-given potential.

Mental Health

Just as we seek help to overcome physical health issues, we cannot afford to ignore the crippling impact of poor mental health. I’ve struggled enough in this area to realize change isn’t a simple one-two step and your done. Recovery requires time and often professional assistance. But the first step in any recovery begins with acknowledgment.

Procrastinators habitually put off for later the things that should and could be done now. Later may mean an hour, a day, a year, or a lifetime. The resulting consequences of the delay could prove to be small or devastating. To procrastinators, it all feels overwhelming.

In the wait, life falls apart around them — a fence, a house, a business, a marriage, or an entire life. The pressure of making a decision and acting upon it proves far more risky than any consequence.

“One day I passed by the field of a lazy man, and I noticed the vineyards of a slacker. I observed nothing but thorns, weeds, and broken-down walls. So I considered their lack of wisdom, and I pondered the lessons I could learn from this: Professional work habits prevent poverty from becoming your permanent business partner. And: If you put off until tomorrow the work you could do today, tomorrow never seems to come.”
Proverbs 24:30-34 TPT

Limited

Most often the areas of procrastination show up where a person feels the most vulnerable and insecure. Those times when a person feels at the greatest risk of failure or making a mistake. But it is also a sign of passive aggressive behavior — a deliberate avoidance of what needs to be done.

Little by little the walls begin to crumble. Finally, one more missed project turns into a missed grade. One more failure to step up at work turns into dismissal. One more refusal to be responsible results in a breakdown in relationship.

Several times this past week, I have heard the tell-tale comment of the great destroyer, “May I have an extension. I thought I had more time.”

The procrastinator assumes they will be granted more time, more opportunity, more grace, more tolerance, more of whatever is needed to continue dancing with the great destroyer.

Time is short! Today’s opportunity to do what is right and good will never come again! When the sun sets, today is over — never to return.

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
Ephesians 5:15-17

Occupy

Jesus used the parable of the talents to illustrate the importance of fully using opportunities. When He handed His servants their gifts, He commanded them to “work until I come back” (Luke 19:13). Another version says “occupy until I come.” This implies immediate and consistent action.

Those who used their time and resources wisely were delegated greater authority and received a greater reward. The one who was slothful and procrastinated, delaying action and decisions on how to use the talents, ended up losing everything he had been given. How tragic! But how common!

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! …”
Matthew 25:26

God doesn’t take the abuse or misuse of our time lightly! Both are a precious gifts from Him. He holds us accountable for both. If God takes it seriously, we would be wise to do the same.

Healing

We might consider God’s assessment a bit harsh, but the first step toward better emotional health and healing begins with confession and prayer. God knows procrastination is self-protection, an escape from the responsibility whenever possible. But there is good news.

“If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
1 John 1:9

Forgiveness is the beginning step. To overcome the great destroyer, we must redeem the time! God can and will turn things around, when we work with Him through the healing journey. He has not left us to fight any battle alone.

  • Choose to no longer put mental health on hold.
  • Seek Christian counsellors and mentors.
  • In a healing environment, confess faults to one another so we will be healed (James 5:16).
  • Identify the specific areas when we tend to procrastinate and ask others to hold us accountable in that area.
  • Don’t expect a quick rescue! Work through the healing process.

Well Done

Everyone wants to hear Jesus say, “Well done.” God cares far more about who we are than about what we accomplish for Him. He wants us free from the control of the great destroyer.

We dare not expect more time, when we are not fully using the time God has already given to us. He has given us time to receive His grace, time to share our faith, and time to love others.

God is not obligated to guarantee any of us more time or opportunity.

“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 Corinthians 6:2

“The right time is now.” Let’s make today the day for change. Let’s not let procrastination remain as the great destroyer in our lives.

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Procrastination – Putting Off for Tomorrow What Should be Done Today!

Procrastination - Don't Delay

My father would often tell me, “MaryAnn! Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today!” Maybe I heard these words often because I, like others, sometimes leaned toward procrastination.

He knew, what I also now realize, today is the only moment I have. Today’s opportunities will vanish in the evening’s sunset. My earthly father was echoing the voice of our Heavenly father. Though the former is no longer with us, the later continues to speak the wisdom of today’s fleeting nature.

Sunset - Procrastination

I have a lengthy “To Do” list. Many of the items listed are trivial. As a matter of fact, the most important “To Dos” don’t even appear on this random list.

Today – Working Diligently

When I was in the full-time workforce, whether my supervisor was present or absent, I cultivated an attitude of continually giving my best. It is a practise that has benefited me now that schedules are self-appointed, and goals are self-established.

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.

Ant Proverbs 6:6

 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.”
Proverbs 6: 6-11

Procrastination is much more pleasing to my ear than “lazybones!” Today is good day to work diligently at whatever God puts in front of me. The season may be fast approaching when I will not be able to do the things I now am capable of.

Ants can carry 20 to 100 times their own body weight. That is a lot of lifting! May my work ethic set a similar example to others.

Today – Keep Your Promise

“When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through,
for God takes no pleasure in fools.
Keep all the promises you make to him.”
Ecclesiastes 5:4

I know of some people who have “bartered” with God in a season of desperation. “Lord if you will _________, I will ___________.” When things are going smoothly again, promises fade into distant memory.

However, most people won’t fit into this category. What are some of the other promises that we make to God? One of mine is within the marriage covenant. “Before God and these witnesses, I MaryAnn promise to … from this day forward …”

Covenant Promise

There have been times in our marriage when I seriously wanted to escape that promise. More than once, I’ve pulled out our wedding vows and recommitted myself to the best of my ability fulfill my promise.  Sounds foolish maybe, but it gave me the strength and grit to see it through.

Today is a day to keep my promise to God and others. If I wait until I feel like, that day may never come. It is in the doing that the feeling lines up.

Today – Obey God’s Commands

“I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.” Psalms 119:60

Whatever knowledge I have of God’s command, I am responsible for walking in. Before I understood, God’s desire, I was not responsible to fulfill it.

As children grow their responsibility level increases. At first all their needs are met. As they learn to feed themselves, they do. When they become school age, applying themselves to learn is a reasonable expectation. As they reach adulthood, there are increased levels of responsibility and expectations to apply.

The same is true in the spiritual. God calls us to love one another, forgive each other, encourage each other, serve one another, honour one another, and be devoted to one another, to name a few.

One Another

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today“,
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Hebrews 3:13

In a community of support we spur each other on to follow God’s commands. Today is a good day to obey!

Today – Hear and Respond!

“God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.”
This he did when a long time later he spoke through David,
as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Hebrews 4:7

The most critical “To Do” is responding to His invitation to enter a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have never done this, “Today” is a perfect day! Every tomorrow after today will be impacted by this one choice.

Many people have already made the decision to become a Christian, by accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Others delay, thinking there will be another day! The tragedy is, there may not be. After this life is eternity. Life does not end when your body dies. Your spirit lives forever.

No Procrastination - Heaven Awaits

What we do with this decision about Jesus will determine where and how we spend that eternity. Will that eternity be in the Presence of The One who is Life, or will it be in the place of doom designed for Satan and his emissaries?

Today is the day to hear and respond to God’s wonderful gift of salvation.

No Procrastination!

Today is an open door before us. Let’s step into it with vigor checking a few things of that “To Do” list. Let us focus on the things that matter the most, setting procrastination aside!

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Not done yet? Want to read more?

Normal? What Does It Mean To Be Normal Christian?

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