Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hast Thou Not Known"1 (Lyrics)
We ought to behave ourselves every day as though we had not dependence on any other day. — Jonathan Edwards
Proverbs 27:1 – Don't brag about tomorrow, since you don't know what the day will bring. (NLT)
You may be surprised to know that I have always been an individual who puts off, postpones, or delays doing something. This is better known as procrastination. In fact, I have a friend who has inferred that I was just like an ostrich — whose name comes from the mistaken belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid problems.
Taking stock of our own personal time, we often procrastinate when faced with something that we do not want to do or a decision that is hard to make. However, to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost can be detrimental. Procrastination affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we allow ourselves to procrastinate, we aren't doing anything but deceiving ourselves into thinking that other things are more important than what we should be doing at that time. One reason that we are so easily distracted is a lack of self-control, which can lead to poor health. Studies have shown that anxiety stemming from being stressed about what we are neglecting to do can affect our immune systems.
Here are some definite steps that we can take to avoid the detrimental effects of procrastination:
- Admit to God that procrastination stifles our motivation to get things done, and ask Him for His assistance to overcome this problem.
- Keep a list of what needs to be done, and each day, prioritize five items on the list, do them in that order, and check them off when completed.
- Estimate the time needed to complete each task, allowing for unexpected delays. Don't feel guilty if something comes up to make it impossible to finish — pick up where we left off the next day.
- Reject negative thoughts and realize God's truth about us and our desire to please Him. Talk with a friend with whom we can pray if struggling to get started.
- Yield to Christ's control and claim God's promise that He will provide everything that we need through our dependence on Him.
Consider this: We have the opportunity to grow as individuals both emotionally and spiritually. There are 1,440 minutes in a 24-hour period. How many minutes of our day are spent in things of the Lord, and how many minutes are spent with worldly interests?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we have many tasks and opportunities competing for our time. Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Give us grace to properly consider how few our days are, and how little time we have to live in this world. Help us to carry out all our activities in such a way as to bring glory to Your name, making the most of the time that You have given us. We ask this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.