What does the Bible say about procrastination?

I had a plan of what I was going to write for this week’s blog when I woke up to hear the tragic news of another attack in London. Let us just pause for a minute

Father God, we lift up this world, which you created, to your hands now. The world seems to be s broken and so divided, and we ask for your peace. We pray for those who have been killed and injured, for their families and friends. We also pray for those that felt that this act was necessary. Lord, most of all we pray that your light may come shining in to the world, and that we may be able to share that light. Amen

This term’s themes has been brought about by a pupil in year 9 who has recently been confirmed. For his confirmation he was given a book of devotionals and he wanted to show me the book to see if I wanted to use any of the quotes/ideas for worship at school. So, in true teacher fashion, I sent him away with a load of post-it type bookmarks and asked him to choose for me. He came back with loads of bookmarks, but it gave me an idea. So this final term, as we head towards the summer holidays, we will be looking at what does the Bible say about… various topics. Some weren’t necessarily appropriate for whole school worship but I will be running separate lunch time discussions.

This is a question I get asked a lot “miss, what does the Bible say about…” and often I can’t respond because a lot of issues that people ask me weren’t issues when the Bible was written, or aren’t necessarily specifically mentioned in the Bible. However we can look at teachings that are in the Bible and see what guidance that may give us to apply to the situation we are concerned about.

The question we are concerned about this week is “what does the Bible say about procrastination?”. I have to admit I am an expert procrastinator, but before we carry on I guess we should define the word… “the action of delaying or postponing something”. I find procrastination often comes into play when I’ve got a long list of work to do, it’s amazing how tidy the place can get, how many people I can find to help, or how many ‘important’ phone calls I can make. Why? To avoid the actual jobs that need to get done.

I know a lot of people who procrastinate to avoid work, but procrastination comes into play when having to deal with an important issue, maybe there’s an issue with a relationship which you know needs to get sorted, or an apology that needs to be made, but we always find something else to do instead. The amount of times I have put off starting to watch what I eat, or doing some exercise!

What is the thing that leads you to procrastinate?

As I have said I am an expert procrastinator, so I am not going to attempt to give any advice. The only advice I could give is ways in which to procrastinate, which defeats the point! Our thought for the week comes from Hunter S Thompson who says

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance

I am always very happy to have a decision made for me, but there have been times where because I’ve left making a decision to the last minute the decision has had to be made for me. This links in with the Bible passage which was given in the book which was from Luke 12:35-40 I have to admit when I first looked at this I was wondering what it was talking about. But then it all clicked in to place. The passage is talking about the second coming of Jesus, and our need to be prepared for it.

We never know what is going to happen, and we need to be prepared. This may be with work projects, or revision. A simple example – I know lots of pupils who will come to me on a Monday morning and say that they were unsure of what to do. When I asked when they looked they said the night before even though they had a week to work on it. If we leave things to the last minute they may not get done.

Now, saying that, although it is a fantastic principle to live by, I honestly don’t think that God is going to be too concerned with my to-do list – although I think he will be impressed with the colour and neatness (as I said I’m an expert procrastinator). However, when it comes to procrastinating over apologies to be made; hurt that has been caused; issues left unresolved; that is a different matter. The passage says you never know when the son of God will return. Therefore you should try to deal with those things when you can, rather than putting them off.

One of the things that causes most people upset during times of grief is that they weren’t able to say what they wanted to say whilst they still had that person with them. There have been two attacks in this country in the space of as many weeks, at no point did people think they were putting their lives at risk but they were going out to enjoy themselves. What things have been left undone or unsaid?

The thought for the week speaks about choices, and choices that can be taken out of our hands. We don’t know what is going to happen, but we can make choices on a daily basis, let us choose love.

Challenge: what leads you to procrastinate? Is there anything you can do to try to ensure that you deal with things rather than putting them off?

Prayer: father God, we thank you that you have given us creativity, but we pray that you will help us to use that creativity to do good, rather than to avoid jobs. Help us to stay focussed, and help us to choose love. Amen

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