Don't Put It Off!

Breaking procrastination.

Vice-President, General Conference

Procrastination is a thieving habit that deprives us of time, success, and happiness. We procrastinate when we needlessly put off things that should be done today.

And who is not tempted to de­fer? We find ourselves saying, "Tomorrow I'll study the Sabbath school lesson, prepare my sermon, give that Bible study, write that letter, visit the sick neighbor, call on that discouraged member" but all that tomorrow brings forth is a mountain of things unaccomplished.

Inspiration, planning, and decision are important, but their value diminishes un­less followed up by decisive action. Do you want a branch Sabbath school? An active 'ATV Society? A new church school? A newly painted church building? A success­ful Bible course enrollment campaign? A new church organization? Really, do you?

By all means plan, but do not bog down and neglect starting the job. Don't blow the whistle too long and find yourself without steam to turn the wheels. There is no better way to get things done than to start them. The first step in a mile race is as important as the last. Get going. Keep going!

Procrastination is often induced because the immediate task is unpleasant, difficult, or distasteful. Facing us today could be a menial chore, a demanding study assign­ment, an assigned church responsibility, a Christian duty to dissolve a misunderstand­ing or go the second mile, or the convic­tion that we must break with a sinful habit.

None of these things is easy. All require time, discipline, and just plain hard work. Accordingly, to ease our conscience we putter around with trivialities, daydreaming and wishing that the hard task would just go away.

Life assigns to each a quota of difficult tasks and they just don't fade away by being ignored. Any­thing worthwhile — friendship, marriage, career, job, salvation, church membership—has its dif­ficult aspects. Each blessing costs much in personal effort. Eventually we have to stop babying ourselves, roll up our sleeves, and tackle the task.

Dreading or postponing a hard job is often more wearing than doing it, and the anticipated unpleasantness has a way of adversely affecting other duties and asso­ciates. Procrastination is a prolific cause of emotional and organizational ills in the home, school, and church.

A Christian is duty bound not merely to do the things he should, but to do them when he should, whether he likes to or not. Principle and not impulse is his guide. The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy make plain his duty and the manner in which it should be discharged. He does not defer carrying today's burden since shirking means a heavier load for someone else. For him, the following through to completion in any task is a matter of morality, charac­ter, and honor.

In the development of spiritual life, pro­crastination is fatal. We read: "Beware of procrastination. Do not put off the work of forsaking your sins, and seeking purity of heart through Jesus. Here is where thou­sands upon thousands have erred, to their eternal loss. . . . What we do not overcome, will overcome us, and work out our de­struction."—Steps to Christ, pp. 32, 33.

"Yesterday is gone, today is here, tomor­row may never come."


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

Vice-President, General Conference

May 1964

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Decisions

There is no greater experience than a human being, chosen of God, standing as God's representative to invite his fellow men to accept the offered pardon, become adopted into the family of God, and receive eternal life.

Steps in Decision During the Short Evangelistic Campaign

The science of securing decisions and the art of persuading men are exceedingly broad.

Pulpit Preaching for Decisions

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15)

Pointer's

Monthly pointer's by the staff of the Ministry.

How I Make an Altar Call

Advice from a desk-bound editor.

Sabbath Worship Calls

Sabbath by Sabbath good sermons are preached by godly ministers in Seventh-day Adventist churches, but seldom is a specific call made for unbelievers to accept Christ and become members of His church

Decision Methods in Small Churches

The personal touch in securing decisions.

Decisions in the Home

Reaching those closest to you.

Motives and Calls for Surrender

"For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified- (1 Cor. 2:2)

Evangelistic Visiting

A plan for your consideration.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - SermonView - Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All