Procrastination

Procrastination is something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, but I’ve never quite gotten around to it until now. The Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as “postponing action”, and I have a suspicion that God isn’t too impressed when we engage in it. Because we only have a limited amount of time here on earth, but we have a huge amount of work to do, growing into the likeness of Christ and making disciples of all nations. We have no time to waste.

I’m going to throw my hands up here and declare that I am extremely good at procrastinating. I’m great at lying in past my morning alarm. I am an expert at surfing through random websites reading up on things that have no real significance to my life. I get addicted to trying to set a new Doodlejump high score or clearing the next Angry Birds level, preferably with 3 stars. (Only this morning I spent half an hour of the time I had set aside to write for all4God playing Angry Birds instead, being determined to get past a couple of tricky levels.) I am a master at all things to do with procrastination. But here’s the problem. When we engage in an activity that could be deemed procrastination, we aren’t doing what God has called us to – the action we are postponing is an action that God has called us to do. Essentially we are saying to God that rather than grow closer to Him, we would prefer to read the latest celebrity gossip. That rather than do something about the spiritual poverty in our town we’d like to watch yet another repeat of Friends. That rather than study His Word and be edified by it we would get more satisfaction by setting a new high score in the latest mobile game.

The Bible says that to know what we ought to do and then not do it is a sin (James 4:17). So essentially, when we procrastinate, when we put off serving God, when we pass on the opportunity to grow in faith we are sinning.

Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with playing the odd game of Angry Birds, or watching some TV, or even going on Facebook. But just because there is nothing wrong with them, it doesn’t mean they are the best use of our time. Mark Driscoll puts it like this: “There are a lot of things that guys that are Christians do that aren’t evil, they’re just dumb.”1 All around us are hurting, broken, lost friends who need the love of God. If we are too busy setting high scores and reading up on Paris Hilton’s latest antics how will they find that love? If we spend all our time on Facebook how will we mature as Christians, moving from baby milk to solid food (see Hebrews 5:12-14), moving from young faith to a confident hope we can share with others?

Maybe it is time for us to reassess our priorities. To cut back not just on the bad stuff, but also the stuff that is alright but not the best. To stop procrastinating and get serious about not postponing acting on our call to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

{That was aimed at me. And for the record, my Doodlejump high score is 27,295 and I have 60 stars and a score of 1353330 on Angry Birds}

  1. Mark Driscoll – The world is filled with boys who can shave http://blog.marshillchurch.org/2010/08/21/the-world-is-filled-with-boys-who-can-shave/ accessed 06/09/2010

Learn more the author of this post:

Pete McM
The original founder of All4God, Pete is 26, lives in Northern Ireland, is a junior doctor, Ulster fan and is passionate about Jesus