Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hallelujah Hallelujah"1 (Lyrics)
The summer is a great time to do things around the house or yard, but each time, it takes me a mountain of coaxing and unrelenting reasoning simply to commit to paint the deck, mow the lawn, or clean out and vacuum the car. Does the word procrastination ring a bell? What about words like stalling or deferment? Why is it so easy to put off doing important stuff?
Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) had similar questions. For example, in The City of God, he asked, why is it that we "are diligent with difficulty and without difficulty are indolent?"
Augustine posits that we procrastinate because to do anything requires labour. Labour requires an effort, and our "vitiated nature" may be hindering our "wishful talk" of getting to the summer chores.
The Gospel of Luke points out that some followers of Jesus are seen as "deferring disciples":
Luke 9:57-62 – Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God." And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (NKJV)
Now ask yourself these questions, as I asked them of myself: "With which person do you readily identify? Which excuse resonates with you?"
Imagine if God made excuses and deferred His blessings, even for only one day! What would you think of Him? Lesson learned? I thought so!
Let no one among us be a "deferring disciple".
Prayer: Gracious and faithful Father, as we consider the tasks ahead, we pray for the ability not to put things off. Forgive us when we procrastinate and leave undone what should be done. Thank You, Lord, for reminding us that procrastinating is all too easy. May we be diligent and not delay, even as Jesus our Saviour did not defer His mission. Amen.
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Thanks Karl for an apt reminder.
Karl, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is always spot on time. May we follow in His footsteps. Thanks for writing. Blessings.
Thank you for your devotional this morning. A great reminder to not put things off, which I sometimes do. There is always the excuse “too busy” that comes to mind. Yikes.
Oh Carl, this message today had my name splattered all through it! I feel like the queen of stalling…. I’ll do it later …. Another day would be better (and I watch the afternoon Blue Jay game instead of being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s prompting). Thank you for your thoughts. I have been convicted!!
Ah and here I had been putting off reading the Daily in order to get the morning chores done because I had lay abed too long.
And now I have been caught out!!
Good one Karl.
When I turned on the devotional that big bad word jumped out at me — PROCRASTINATION. Out loud I said OH NO.
First of all, please know that as far as my spiritual life is concerned, I put that first, at least most of the time. I have no desire to procrastinate in that area of my life. Lord, forgive me if I am ever guilty of that. But in other areas I am very guilty. I am 90+ years old, live with my oldest daughter and have lots of areas that are “mine.”
I need to go through my belongings so my family isn’t left with it all and wonder what to do. Then there is my memoirs. I’ve written a few, but my mind and memory is loaded. So much I need and want to do, but am guilty of that bad word. Thank you for your reminder today.
God bless you.
To be honest, I usually don’t procrastinate, I usually work to far ahead, and then I get mixed up, working on two or three church services at the same time is confusing. Having said that I did procrastinate in replying to you about you fine devotion, thank you very much.
This is a very interesting approach to procrastination, Karl. I never looked at it that way, as it seemed reasonable that a person would want to bury his father, and I felt the Lord was being a bit unfeeling in this situation.
I have always had an intense dislike for procrastination, and I always tried to get things done now, not 10 minutes from now.
However, in my retirement I have slowed down and find it much easier to put off to tomorrow what I should do today. Is it simply lack of energy, or a sign of aging? Surely not the latter.
But when it comes to spiritual matters I do try “to do it now” when I hear the Lord speak, because I know He won’t accept procrastination. He calls it what it is. Disobedience.
I am so grateful that I have finally learned in these ‘golden years’, after many ‘slip-ups’ and ‘trip-ups’, when He gives us an assignment and says “Do it Now!” He means it.
Thanks for the reminder.