Overcoming the Problem of Procrastination
Some people think to themselves, "Do it tomorrow - you’ve made enough mistakes for today."
"A diet is what you keep putting off while you keep putting on.
No farmer ever plowed a field by turning it over in his mind.
The kindness planned for tomorrow doesn’t count today.
Procrastination is the fertilizer that makes difficulties grow."
E.C. McKenzie’s 14,000 Quips and Quotes
Too often we offer excuses for not sharing the good news of salvation with others by thinking that family, friends or neighbors are ready to believe. However, the Lord Jesus teaches us that all around us is a continual harvest to be reaped if we will just implement the tools of truth at our disposal. Do not let the Lord Jesus find you making excuses for obeying His will. Look around you and you will find plenty of people ready to hear God’s word.
"Jesus said, ’My nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me and from finishing His work. Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest."
1. Jesus knew that peoples’ fear often leads them to procrastinate. The Lord Jesus said, "Do you not say, ’Four months more and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35) Ask the Lord to help you surrender your fears to the Lord and replace them with a readiness to consider all the opportunities for service in His harvest fields.
2. Jesus knew that procrastinating can lead to death. One day a royal official begged Jesus to heal his son, who was close to death. The worried father cried, "Sir, come down before my child dies. Jesus replied, "You may go, Your son will live. The man took Jesus at his word and departed_ So he and all his household believed." (John 4:49-53) Take advantage of the opportunities God gives you with delay, otherwise it may be too late. Ask God to give you a special grace to respond to the emergencies, opportunities and ministries that the Lord places in your path.
3. Jesus took advantage of every opportunity to do the will of God without procrastinating. He said, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4) Ask the Lord to help you not miss out on the smallest of opportunities to give God glory by helping His church grow in quantity or quality through the Spirit
4. Jesus did not let committees cause procrastination of His work and ministries. The Lord Jesus said, "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I in the Father. Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp." (John 10:37-39) Ask the Lord to give you the grace, wisdom and courage to avoid organizations or committees that simply bogged down the work of God.
5. Jesus did not let carnal Christians cause Him to procrastinate. One day Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him. ’Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!"(speaking of Christ’s prediction of His death) Jesus said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Matt. 16:22,23) Ask the Lord to help you overcome carnal or immature Christians’ attempts to slow down your God led ministries.
6. Jesus did not allow the Pharisaical religious authorities to cause Him to procrastinate. The Master said, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn’t bring any bread. Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand." (Matt. 16:6-9) Ask the Lord to help you not become confused, intimidated or frustrated by power hungry religious authorities.
7. Jesus did not allow a shortage of resources to cause Him to procrastinate. The disciples said to Jesus, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" Jesus took the seven loaves and fish and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied." (Matt. 15:33-37) Ask the Lord to give you the faith, persistence and wisdom to find the resources necessary to help you complete God’s will.
8. Jesus did not let the suffering of the cross to cause Him to procrastinate. Jesus said, "This all has taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." (Matt. 26:56) Ask the Lord to help you not flinch in the face of hardships, suffering or persecution.
9. Jesus did not let men’s ignorance, intemperance or faulty perspectives cause Him to procrastinate. After the transfiguration Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: ’This is my son, whom I love. Listen to him!" (Mark 9:5-7) Ask the Lord to help you not be delayed by peoples’ ignorance, intemperance or faulty perspectives.
10. Jesus did not cause others to procrastinate because they used different methods. Christ allowed for diversity of approaches in seeing God’s kingdom progress. One day John said to Jesus, "We saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us. Jesus said, "Do not stop him, for whoever is not against us is for us." (Mark 9:38,39) Ask the Lord to help you avoid causing others to procrastinate because of differences of opinions.