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Procrastination

April 23rd, 2012

“Be sure to do what you should. Galatians 6:4 NLT

Procrastinated obedience is simply disobedience disguising itself.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “procrastination.”

What are you putting off that you should do today? Ask yourself, “Why do I have trouble getting started on things that I know I should do?What was your answer or excuse, as the case may be? Procrastination is never your best answer – to a task, challenge, promise, or problem. More often than not, now is the best time; today is the best day!

Many things that you will put off doing are not so bad once you actually begin. The hard part is moving past the emotional inertia and simply getting started. There are some tasks that take less time to complete than a person wastes waiting for just the “right time” to begin. Wrongly, you may assume that the right time is the time that you “feel” like doing what you should do, and that is rarely the case. It’s starting that stops you.

In a beloved movie, “The Sound of Music,” Maria teaches the Von Trapp children, “Let’s begin at the beginning; a very good place to start.” And today is a very good place to start! The Bible says, “You who say, ‘tomorrow we are going to a certain town . . we will do business there and make profit.’ How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog – it’s here for a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:13-14 NLT. Begin today before the opportunity is missed.

Have you felt the Lord gently nudging you to do something you have been putting off? What seem reasons to you may sound like excuses to the Lord. You may not say you won’t do what the Lord is asking, but maybe you haven’t said that you would either. Valuable time is wasted while waiting, time wasted in your life, and time and opportunity wasted for the Kingdom of God – time you can never recover, time lost forever.

Jesus told a story about two sons. Read Matthew 21:28-32. Both were clearly asked to work in their father’s fields, “today.” The first said he would not, “but afterward repented and did.” Did he go later that day, or a later day? Does it matter? The other said that he would, “and did not go.” Was he lying? Probably not. Like me sometimes, he probably meant to do it that day after he took care of something else first. Jesus asked a pointed and pertinent question: “Which of the two did the will of his father?” Think about that; how would you answer the question?

The real answer is: neither did the will of their father, not as and when he wanted. I don’t think that either son wanted to disobey their father. Like us, they probably just had previous plans or things they preferred instead. “Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well.” Galatians 6:4 NLT. It is not always as simple as today’s verse sounds, is it?

My Dad taught me a valuable life-lesson when I was still a teen, “First things first!” The right thing to do is always the best thing to do, and first is always the right time to do that. Procrastinated obedience is not obedience really; it is simply disobedience disguising itself. I have observed that any delay to obey makes obedience less likely or less complete. Do you find it easier to be prompt about things for more immediate and temporal benefit than in matters of eternal consequence to yours or others’ lives? Why not begin today “to do what you should!” It keeps life simpler.

My prayer for you is that you put off what you should not do, not what you should.

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