I like the motto for Procrastinators Club of America: “Anything worth doing is worth putting off.” It’s funny, but the irony is inescapable: things worth doing are worth doing now.
Oddly, it’s the things that are worth doing that we usually put off. Perhaps that is because these “things” require the most effort physically or emotionally. I confess that I have a hard time writing articles; not because I don’t enjoy it or sense a great compulsion from the muse, but because of the concentration involved. There are a zillion worthless distractions that I discover (and rediscover) whenever I sit at my computer. There are web sites to visit, bathroom breaks and soft voices calling me from the refrigerator. These distractions are generally totally unproductive and insignificant; hence, they take little effort to deal with.
The Bible warns us against putting off some very urgent matters. For example, when you make a promise, God expects you to not only keep it, but to be quick about it (Ecclesiastes 4:4–7). Criminals are to be quickly dealt with, lest men think they can get away with evil (Ecclesiastes 8:11). We are to do good to others when we have the opportunity and not put it off (Proverbs 3:27, 28).
Procrastination often makes matters worse. When interpersonal problems arise, failing to face them in a timely manner results in festering bitterness and unscalable walls. The deeper the bitter root grows, the harder it is to dig it out. Ofttimes this results in broken relationships, especially between husbands and wives. We can be so readily distracted by our fears and pride and the easy path of stuffing our feelings.
As serious as these matters are, there is one issue that is of utmost, eternal significance: the salvation of one’s soul. When Adam and Eve first disobeyed in the Garden of Eden, God wasted no time in finding them and providing cover for their sin (Genesis 3:9, 21). Since then, God has always provided the means for immediate forgiveness, culminating in the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. With such great cost to Himself, He stands ready to forgive the worst sinner when called upon.
God is very patient; however, His patience can not be presumed upon, any more than we can be assured of another day’s breath. Isaiah told the Israelites, “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you” (Isaiah 49:8). The Apostle Paul added, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). In other words, salvation is available right at this moment.
“So, it’s been available for thousands of years. Why not wait a bit and sow some wild oats, or get my life in order, or investigate some other religions or philosophies? God will wait for me.” This is what He says about waiting: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).
Most of us are a bit advanced in years, and are more aware of our mortality than when we were younger. However, these warnings are as applicable to the young as to the old. There are only two certainties that are valid for any age: we are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we are guaranteed eternal life if we but ask the Lord Jesus to forgive our sins.
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