Summary: What keeps us from doing the things we should be doing? How can we overcome the tendency to procrastinate? These are some of the questions we address in this sermon.
A. If my memory is correct, this is the first time I have ever preached a sermon on the subject of procrastination! I just don’t know why I put if off for so long?
B. Let’s start with a few cartoons to get us thinking about our subject.
1. In the 1st cartoon, a man said to his friend, “It took me forever, but I finally learned to procrastinate.”
a. It takes some people a long time to learn to procrastinate, but for other people it just comes naturally!
2. In the 2nd cartoon, this poor guy showed up for the “Procrastinators Anonymous” meeting only to see this sign on the door, “Tonight’s meeting postponed. To be rescheduled eventually.”
a. I like it…procrastinator’s meeting postponed until…eventually!
3. Maybe this 3rd cartoon sounds like you, “No more putting things off. I’m going to do my procrastinating today instead of tomorrow!”
a. Why wait until tomorrow to put it off? Start putting it off today!
4. The guy in this next cartoon sounds so sophisticated, “I’m not procrastinating. I’m proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness.” All I can say is, “Yeah, right!”
5. In this cartoon, a husband lying on a couch explains to his wife, “I’ll have you know you’re talking to the leader of the largest nation on earth.”
a. His wife asks, “And what nation is that?” He answers, “Procrastination!”
b. Are you the leader of that nation?
6. In this last cartoon, Ziggy is looking at a sign that says, “Future site of the Procrastinator’s Club.”
a. I wonder how long that sign has been there?
C. Actually, I’m told that there is a national organization of procrastinators headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.
1. Supposedly, it was formed in 1957 and at one time had several thousand members.
2. I tried to google it, but couldn’t find it.
3. I did find a Facebook page for the National Association of Procrastinators (known as N.A.P.).
4. And I did find a Procrastination Association that even has a Procrastinator’s Creed.
a. The creed includes the following beliefs and commitments:
1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.
4. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.
5. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
6. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.
7. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
8. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.
D. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres said, “Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off.”
1. As funny as all this sounds, in reality it isn’t a laughing matter.
2. Procrastination can cause many problems and can lead to disastrous consequences.
3. Let’s explore the subject of procrastination by exploring several questions.
I. What Things Do We Procrastinate About?
A. If we are being honest, then we all would have to admit that we all are guilty of procrastinating about something at some point, right?
1. Do we have anyone here who has never procrastinated about anything, ever?
B. First, we procrastinate about Mundane Things
1. Sometimes we procrastinate about certain tasks that are hard to get motivated to do, like: cleaning out a closet or storage room, or going through the stack of mail, or stack of old magazines, or returning phone calls.
2. When we procrastinate about doing boring or mundane jobs its usually no “big deal,” but the thought that these things need to be done will nag us until we do them.
C. Second, we procrastinate about Important Things
1. Unfortunately, sometimes we procrastinate when it comes to doing some really important things, like: going to the doctor for a checkup, or completing a project at work, or doing our income taxes, or writing out our will, or changing the oil in the car, or starting that diet or exercise program.
2. When we procrastinate on these kinds of things, it can prove to be very costly to our health, or our wallet, or both!
D. Third, we procrastinate about Spiritual Things (which are the most important things)
1. Tragically, we sometimes procrastinate when it comes to important spiritual matters, such as reading our Bible, or spending time in prayer, or giving up a sinful habit, or talking to loved ones or friends about Jesus, or even accepting Christ and being baptized.