Mar 15, 2012
I have a problem with procrastination.
Some tasks I love — Bible study, reading, discipleship, evangelism.
Others — revising bylaws, writing policies, organizing events — not so much.
What to do?
Spurgeon said God has a promise for every problem.
So — since procrastination is a problem, that means God has promises that will help me overcome procrastination.
But first —
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is when God calls me to do something, and I don’t do it because —
- I won’t do it very well.
- I’d rather do something else.
- I don’t know where to start.
- I feel overwhelmed.
- I just don’t want to.
So — to overcome procrastination — we need to find promises to overcome these barriers.
Let’s take them one at a time —
I won’t do it very well.
Maybe you could delegate this to someone else.
But let’s assume God has called YOU to do this, and you don’t feel capable.
The promise God made to Moses is the same He makes to you, in Exo 4:10-12 —
But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
Why would God call a mumbler to speak to powerful Pharaoh?
Maybe God would heal Moses’ mumbling. Or — persuade Pharaoh through Moses’ mumbling.
But either way — since God called Moses to do this — God would work through Moses.
So — if God has called me to revise the bylaws, God will enable me to revise the bylaws.
Same with whatever God has called you to do.
So we need to pray over this promise until we feelingly believe that God will work through us.
When we do — we won’t procrastinate.
I’d rather do something else.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Col 3:23-24)
Paul wrote this to slaves whose work did not exactly stir their passion.
Picture feeding pigs. Cleaning out chamber pots. You get the idea.
And yet they were to do it heartily.
Why? Because ultimately they were not serving their masters. They were serving Jesus.
Jesus calls them to feed pigs? And clean chamber pots? Yes.
And — Jesus will reward their pig-feeding and chamber-pot cleaning by giving them the inheritance.
So try this. Pray over those verses until you see that it is Jesus Himself who calls you to make that phone call, fix that faucet, or put together that bid.
Then — think of the inheritance He will give you as a gracious (not-earned) reward for your labor.
Doesn’t that help your motivation?
I don’t know where to start.
Since Jesus has called you to this task, He will certainly give you the wisdom to do it.
That’s in James 1:5 —
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
So if you don’t know where to start — start here —
Ask — what should I do first? How should I begin?
Ask. He will give you the wisdom you need.
I feel overwhelmed.
Remember the 12 spies who scoped-out the Promised Land?
Ten came back overwhelmed — “the people are greater and taller than we, and the cities are great and fortified to heaven!” (Deut 1:28).
Sounds reasonable. If that’s true about the people and the cities — why not feel overwhelmed?
But here’s Moses’ answer —
Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes. (Deut 1:30)
Why were the ten overwhelmed? They had forgotten God.
Yes, the people were huge and the cities were strong. But that’s irrelevant to God.
So pray over Deuteronomy 1:30. Ask God to help you feel that this work is not up to you.
Trust that God will go before You. That God will fight for you.
Then head into battle.
I just don’t want to.
OK. It’s good to be honest.
But think about it. If you don’t want to do this task, that means you see no benefit in doing this task.
But if God has called you to do this task — then there is great benefit in doing it
The greatest benefit imaginable.
That’s what Jesus promises in John 14:21 —
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.
If out of obedience to Jesus I revise the bylaws, that shows I love Him.
Which means the Father will love me, Jesus will love me, and Jesus will manifest Himself to me.
That’s the greatest benefit imaginable.
Imagine revising bylaws — and having the Resurrected Jesus manifest Himself to you.
That would turn an afternoon at the computer into holy ground.
Let’s get to work.
Are there other reasons for procrastination?
Let me know below — by leaving a reply. Then we can find promises that apply to those as well.
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(Picture by Rennett Stowe on flickr.)