I was going to write this post last week, but I put it off until today…
(That’s a joke, friends…HA!)
Seriously, what’s the deal with procrastination? I hope I’m not the only one out there who deals with this problem (don’t worry, you can tell me about it later…)
I looked up the word “procrastination”:
Procrastination refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.
OK, that sounds about right…
Why do we do it? There are many reasons – fear of failure, fear of success, perfectionism, because we’re busy, because we’re afraid of criticism – just to name a few.
I was reading an article on the issue – it was quite informative. But one of the reasons listed for procrastination was this – IT WORKS!
The more I thought about it, the more that idea made sense. When I avoid doing a certain activity, my anxiety about that activity is dramatically reduced. It becomes easier to “put it on the back burner” and then fool myself into pretending it’s not there.
But here’s an “ugly truth” about myself – At times, I am also a “spiritual procrastinator.”
I’ve put off reading my Bible, or spending time in prayer, or talking to that neighbor, or going to that Bible Study, or attending church regularly, or…any number of other things. I’m sure some of you can fill in your own blanks…(you can, can’t you?! I’m not alone with this, am I?!)
As much as I could maybe “justify” my procrastinating habits in the “real world” – I couldn’t avoid facing the truth that when it came to spiritual matters, to my relationship with God, procrastination was really spiritual laziness and lack of discipline.
I came to the realization that procrastination was a clever and effective tool that Satan used:
• to keep me from maturing in my faith
• to keep me from staying close, and growing closer to God
• to keep me from reaching out to others
• to keep me mired in a “safety zone” of complacency
I DON’T WANT TO BE THERE ANYMORE!
This year, with the power of the Holy Spirit prodding me and enabling me, I have added several Christian “disciplines” to my life.
Have I “arrived”? – CERTAINLY NOT!
Have I “grown”? – Oh, you better believe it!!
"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today" – Thomas Jefferson.
It’s a good quote, and it’s true.
But I’ve got a better one –
“So run to win! All athletes are DISCIPLINED in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
I like how the idea is expanded in these notes:
“As Christians, we are running toward our heavenly reward. The essential disciplines of prayer, Bible Study, and worship equip us to run with vigor and stamina…Train diligently – your spiritual progress depends on it.” (From The Life Application Bible, NLT, c. 2004, by Tyndale House Publishers).
We can’t do it in our own power, we can’t do it alone…
We need a “playbook” – God’s Word – and we need a “coach” – the Holy Spirit.
Oh Lord, forgive me for “putting off” so many things that are necessary in my spiritual life – so many things that are vital to my relationship with You. Help me do the things that You call me to do. Give me courage and self-discipline. Help me be a worthy athlete, Lord, ready to run my race – the race You have set before me… TODAY!!
Will you join me…today?!
BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”