Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman
I want to discuss something I know all too well. Procrastination! Procrastination isn’t a good thing. It’s not something we should be really good at either. By definition it is “the act of delaying the doing of something that should be done.” There can be many attributes that lead us to procrastinate, none of which are good. Delaying things, putting things off happens in our everyday lives, but also in our spiritual lives.
When it comes to our spiritual lives, do we wait and put off doing things that our Father loves for us to do? Do we let it affect how and when we spread the gospel with others? Does it keep us from inviting people to church or talking to people about our faith? What about forgiving others that have hurt us? Holding onto that anger, letting go of that anger, or learning to love one another as God would have us to do? How about obeying the gospel? Do we wait and put these things off for another time? The answer is yes to all these things. It absolutely keeps us from doing things now! Procrastinating is essentially like saying “I don’t want to or have the desire to do these things right now”, but we should.
We should want to spread the gospel to every one. Mark 16:15 tells us “go unto all the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
We should forgive others quickly, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32) and (Matthew 6:14) “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Ephesians 4:26-27) “be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
We are to love one another! “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12) “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
We are to obey the gospel. If we have heard the gospel and know we have a spiritual need; to delay doing anything about it is dangerous. We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. (James 4:14) says, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time then vanishes.”
Several things cause us to procrastinate. Worry, stress, being anxious, sometimes even laziness. God has taught us not to worry or be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). The Bible says plenty about being lazy. (2 Thess 3:10), “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” (Proverbs 18:9) says “Whoever is lazy in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” (Colossians 3:23) says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, not for men.” If the things we do in our lives, in our hearts, is for the Lord; we won’t wait, we won’t delay doing these things because we are motivated by the desire and focus to please our Lord, and to finish the task now, not later.
I understand that not all of us are procrastinators – and good for you! But since I am one, I say this with love and empathy for those that are. When we, and I mean myself, put off things that the Lord wants us to do, we might get the task done but I can’t say that we are giving Him our best. God deserves our best. Our Father loves us, he is our biggest fan and does not wish any of us to fail. He desires for us all to be with Him in Heaven one day. He blesses our lives daily and gives us these opportunities to do His will and share it with others so that they have a chance to be with Him also. And yet we wait, we put things off till tomorrow. We shouldn’t wait to spread the gospel with everyone, we shouldn’t wait to talk to people about Jesus and share with everyone the good news. Don’t wait to forgive others for wrongs they’ve done when our Father is willing to forgive us right now. Don’t wait to show love to everyone because our Father demonstrates his love for us daily. And by all means don’t wait to obey the gospel because none of us know what tomorrow will bring. That’s why it is important to do things now, not later.
We need to give God our best, whether it’s our daily lives or our spiritual lives. If you struggle with putting things off, waiting till tomorrow to make things right, don’t wait any longer.