While the Bible doesn’t mention the word procrastination, the wisdom literature is filled with warnings about depending on tomorrow. We are told that it is foolish to speak or act as if tomorrow was our possession. This is really the essence of procrastination. Now we are not talking about strategic planning here, or wisdom in speculating certain things in the future. I don’t think the bible calls us to live in every instance as if this were our last day. So before I write a thousand equivocations, I am just going to go ahead and trust that you know the difference between depending on another day which is a problem, and thinking this is your last day, which isn’t always helpful.
So here are some questions to help determine if your procrastination is the sinful act of depending on another day.
1. Have you set your heart on the enjoyments of this life? We are not talking about desiring things in the world, like a good marriage, or an opportunity to travel, etc. Those are normal enjoyments that we should have, otherwise they wouldn’t be enjoyments; if you don’t enjoy them, then you can’t be grateful to God for them (Ecc 5:18). What I mean by ‘set your heart’ is that you base your happiness on these things. You think that there is no way to be happy if you don’t have them. If you are so taken up with things in the world that you devote all your thoughts and energy to getting them, you are showing that you depend on another day.
The reason this is a warning sign about your procrastination is that it shows that you are assuming every day in the future will be just like today. You are behaving as if these transitory things are firm, but really no one knows what tomorrow brings. If you were wise you wouldn’t depend on anything in the future, but only that eventually death is going to bring all of this to an end.
When a person is so ruined as a result of losing some kind of temporal enjoyment, or with a temporal disappointment, it shows that they have set their hearts on them. In addition they are behaving as if they boasted about tomorrow. If they were not depending on tomorrow they wouldn’t be so overwhelmed by their frustration. The foundation of your comfort in life is temporal stuff, and the assumption you live with is that the temporal stuff will always be there.
2. Are you proud of yourself? This may show that you have a sinful procrastination, a dependence on tomorrow. Obviously if you think you are something, it wouldn’t be based on a thing you only have for one day, that’s a waste of time. You might have a successful business today, but you won’t let it go to your head unless you thought you knew what tomorrow brings. If you are not depending on tomorrow except on the possibility that you may end up in the grave where everyone is equal, then you won’t get a big head about past successes. You won’t be proud of riches and brand name clothes if you know that it may be stripped from you by death the next day. You won’t be proud of personal beauty if you are anticipating that the stroke of death will mar your beauty and make your pretty face ghost like and horrid.
3. Do you envy other people’s worldly things; their wealth, ease, titles, status, or any other worldly circumstances? This show that you have set your heart on things of the world and that you are not aware of the fact that these things are not to be trusted for another day. If you were wise about it, you wouldn’t think that other peoples stuff is worth being envious of. Stuff would be so worthless to you that you wouldn’t care who had it, nor who went without it. So when people fight about stuff (which is really what most fights are about), they show that they are depending on tomorrow.
4. Are you at ease in a situation you must not be in when you die? If your mind is at rest, there must be something you are resting in. Your rest must have some foundation, either real or imaginary. But if you are in a situation that you have to be freed from at some point or be ruined, it is impossible for you to be at rest when you have thoughts of remaining in that situation forever. This makes sense right? Nobody wants to be ruined. No person can be calm when they are sure that they are in a place that will bring them only misery and ruin. So if you are relaxed even though you are in a condition that is bad at the moment, it must be that you assume that you will be freed from it another day. If you are resting right now, it must be that you depend on being delivered another day, and therefore you are depending on another day.
People, who are secure in their sin, unless they are deceived with a false hope, are generally secure because they boast about tomorrow. You are depending on future opportunity, you are flattering yourself with hopes of living long in the world, you are depending on an imaginary more convenient time.
5. Your procrastination may be a sin problem if you are neglecting to do something today which you must do before you die. If there is anything which is totally necessary to be done sometime before death, and it is quite plain and obvious to you that it is necessary, it would appear rather plainly that you are trusting on another day, since you think you will have opportunity to do whatever it is.
What reason do you have to think that you will have a future opportunity to do whatever it is? If you know the gospel but don’t reform your life by getting rid of abominations and denying every lust- if you are not making it your life’s duty to live for the glory of God and the good of man, and making the faith the central aspect of your life, it shows that you are depending on another day; because you know that these are things you must do before you die.
6. Do you do things which you have to undo later? There are loads of things we do that we have to later undo. If you do something which would ruin all eternity you are depending on another opportunity to come along where you might undo that thing. It is something you must seek forgiveness for, make restitution for, or get justice for? If you make it a practise to do these kinds of things, your procrastination may be a sin issue.
🙂 If you have enjoyed reading my blog in the past, feel free to vote for me in the SA Blog Awards, in shouldn’t take more than 30 sec. There are 4 simple steps: (1)Just click on the vote image, (2) select the religious/ spirituality category (NOT ENTERTAINMENT), (3) enter your email address and (4) click on the confirmation link on the email sent to you. See its easy. Thank you! 🙂