Sermon on Procrastination – Overcoming Procrastination
Sermon on Procrastination
A. There are numerous problems that need to be corrected in the Lord’s church today, but perhaps none more than the problem of procrastination.
1. So often, the resources are available, the fields are white unto harvest, and the opportunities abound – but the laborers are few (Mat. 9:37-38)
a. Is it because so many are unaware of their responsibility to serve
b. Or is it because those who are aware of their responsibility, lack the ability to serve?
c. Or could it be that the majority of folks know their responsibility, have the necessary abilities to render effective service unto God, but just never get around to using those talents?
3. A survey of the scriptures demonstrates that the latter suggestion is the most accurate in assessing the lack of effort being expended by some of God’s people today.
4. In other words, we as God’s people often have a tendency to procrastinate
B. Webster defines “procrastinate” as follows: “…to put off intentionally and habitually; to put off intentionally and reprehensibly the doing of something that should be done.”
C. Do we as God’s people ever intentionally put off something that should be done, and that to the detriment of the cause of Christ?
1. To ask the question is to answer it.
2. We need to once again hear the surprise in the Master’s question, “Why stand ye here all the day idle” (Matt. 20:6)?
3. Thus, in this lesson, we wish to explore:
a. The Problem of Procrastination
b. The Perils of Procrastination
c. The Prescription for Procrastination
A. THE PROBLEM OF PROCRASTINATION
1. Some are guilty of procrastination because they are too lazy
a. The Procrastinator’s Poem
I’ve gone for a drink and sharpened pencils,
Searched through my desk for forgotten utensils,
I reset my watch, adjusted my chair,
I’ve loosened my tie and straightened my hair.
I filled my pen and tested my blotter
And gone for another drink of water
Adjusted the calendar, and I’ve raised the blinds
And I’ve sorted erasers of all different kinds.
Now down to work I can finally sit
Oops, too late, it’s time to quit.
b. The problem of laziness is no less acute among God’s people than it is in the business world.
c. The sacred writings are full condemnations of laziness (slothfulness) and exhortations to work and diligence
1) Proverbs 6:6-11
a) The sluggard is to take lessons from the ant
b) Poverty awaits the lazy man … spiritual poverty …
2) Proverbs 12:27
a) The slothful man is too lazy to cook what he kills
b) Do we start things for the Lord, but are too lazy to finish?
3) Proverbs 13:4
a) The lazy wishes – has nothing … The diligent works – has much
b) The obvious analogy is seen in church growth
4) Proverbs 20:4
a)The lazy man is never without an excuse
b) This is true in the church
2. Some are guilty of procrastination because they are too busy
a. Many today are more concerned about their own business than they are the business of the Lord
1) When Israel came back from captivity, of them it was said- Haggai 1:2
2) Haggai 1:4-5 …
a) “consider your ways” is used 5 times in this book … stop and look what you are doing!!!
b) It had been 16 years since the foundation was laid
b. This is unlike David who had more concern for building God’s house than his own house (2 Sam. 7:1-2)
c. Matthew 13:22 _ When the seed was sown they were too busy with the cares of the world and the word was choked out
3. Some are guilty of procrastination because they are too cozy
a. In other words, some who have worked hard in the past in serving the Lord, feel cozy in resting upon their laurels of past achievement.
b. They do not feel compelled to serve now because of the service in the past.
c. It is evident from the scriptures that such an attitude is positively unbiblical
1) Mark 10:17-22
2) Philippians 3:12-16…. Review…
B. THE PERILS OF PROCRASTINATION
1. Procrastination is perilous because it robs us of that which can never be regained
a. Greek mythology portrays the image of time being like a man with long hair in front and bald in the back. The picture is one you must catch coming toward you, because once it has passed, nothing is left to grab.
b. Paul exhorts us to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:15).
c. An opportunity unused is indeed an opportunity lost. Let us resolve to take advantage of the opportunities presented unto us.
2. Procrastination is perilous because it increases the weight of our burdens
a. When we procrastinate, we get further and further behind.
1) Realization of how much needs to be done versus what we have done can often escalate our mental anguish
2) The longer we put things off, the worse they become©
b. Proverbs 24:30-34
3. Procrastination is perilous because it is a sin that separates us from God
a. It should be remembered that one can commit sin and be lost not only by violating the “thou shalt not’s” but also in neglecting the “thou shalts.”
b. James 4:17
c. Furthermore, the separation of the goats and the sheep depicted in Matthew 25:31-46 is based upon sins of omission rather than the commission of evil acts.
d. Ezekiel 16:46-50
C. PRESCRIPTION FOR PROCRASTINATION
1. Remember our Redemption
a. The same passage which calls us to be zealous of good works, reminds us that Jesus gave Himself for us. That He might redeem us from all iniquity (Tit. 2:14).
b. The greatest motivation in all the world is to reflect upon how much Jesus loved us, and how much He sacrificed …
c. When we see the lengths of His sacrifice for us, we are moved to zealously work for His cause.
2. Urgently and diligently tackle the task before us
a. Jesus noted the urgency of His task … John 9:4
b. For many, the greatest time wasted is the time getting started.
c. “I’d give half my life to know the Bible like you.” – “That’s just about what it would cost you.”
3. Recognize the peace of preparation
a. Illustration …”I can sleep when the winds blows”
b. Of course this illustration reminds us of the:
1) The wise man (Matt. 7:24-27)
2) The wise virgins (Matt. 25:1-13)
c. When we see the value in prior preparation and the peace that it brings … be less likely to procrastinate.