River Church NOLA
Jan 24th Getting Rid of Procrastination
  • Trading My Sorrows
  • Walk With Me
  • Gracefully Broken
  • Over the last two weeks, we have been looking at growth and things that keep us from growing. Last week, we learned that we don’t often grow in life and in our faith because it can be painful. It takes effort and sometimes the process can be painful.
    Today, we will see another behavior that keeps us from growing in our faith… procrastination.
    Did you know that there is actually a Procrastinators Club of America? You don’t hear about it much because they keep putting off advertising it. One year the announcement of “National Procrastinators Week” read like this, “Last week was national Procrastinators week.”

    Procrastination keeps us from growing

    A magazine ran an article on Procrastination and in it they asked these questions.
    1. Do you always hand in work at the deadline or later, but never early?
    2. Do you put off beginning a diet until some time in the future, and then change the time?
    3. Do you use fatigue or a headache as a reason for not getting things done?
    You feel too tired or don’t feel good enough to…
    4. Do you fill up your daily schedule with a lot of small, often unimportant things so that you don’t have time for the big thing you are trying to avoid?
    5. Do you delay in seeing a doctor about symptoms, because you hope they will go away?
    We laugh about procrastination and we laugh about it because it hurts so much. But listen to me, procrastination is more than a thief of your time, it’s a thief of opportunity and it may just be the road to hell if you procrastinate on giving your life to Jesus Christ.
    What do you procrastinate about? A task at the house? homework? applying for a job or promotion? calling someone that it will be awkward to speak to? purchasing a Mega Millions Ticket?
    We all procrastinate at some point… some more than others. “Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow?
    The Bible has a lot to say about procrastination.
    James 4:17 NLT
    17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
    We all know we need to change and grow, but we don’t.
    I don’t need to read this morning. I’ll read todays and tomorrows at one time tomorrow.
    We know what we should be doing, but we don’t do it. We also know what we should not do and we still do it. We procrastinate on the things I really want to change in our lives, why?
    Let’s look at the causes of procrastination for a minute.

    The causes of procrastination

    To get rid of procrastination, we have to understand why we do it. Most of us probably procrastinate because one of these five reasons.

    1. Indecision causes us to procrastinate

    We can’t make up our minds. Indecision will cause us to procrastinate.
    James 1:8 GW
    8 A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his mind about anything.
    When you can’t make up your mind, you don’t do anything. You will postpone doing anything… buying a car… choosing a college… getting married… buying new clothes… getting started on a project… changing a job…

    2. Perfectionism causes us to procrastinate

    Ecclesiastes 11:4 The Living Bible
    4 If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
    If you wait for things to be perfect, you will never start anything because things will never be perfect.

    3. Fear causes procrastination

    Proverbs 29:25 The Living Bible
    25 Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety.
    When we are afraid we put things off. How many have been putting off a trip to the dentist? the doctor? IRS? well it is tax time.

    4. Anger causes procrastination

    Proverbs 18:9 GNB
    9 A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive.
    Procrastination is a way we get back at people we don’t like. Kids are great at procrastination… just ask them to clean their room… you will see. They will put if off or do it slow. Then when they grow up, they will have a spouse that asks them to do something over and over again… They will resist your control and procrastination. Procrastination is passive resistance.

    5. Laziness causes procrastination

    Proverbs 13:4 NLT
    4 Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.
    This culture and this generation don’t like pain and work is sometimes painful. We want things the easy way. That’s why, even with a good economy with more people working than before, only half of America is working. That’s why when the enhanced unemployment came during the first months of COVID, people would not go back to work because it was easier to stay home and be paid than to go work.
    How many of you would by a book that was titled, 10 difficult Steps to change your life… or 15 difficult ways to get in shape… No one would.

    There is a cost to procrastination

    There is a couple of misconceptions about procrastination. When you procrastinate you may think that it will be easier if you don’t face it, but that’s wrong. Another one is, It will be easier tomorrow… wrong.

    Procrastination causes more problems

    Proverbs 15:19 The Living Bible
    19 A lazy fellow has trouble all through life; the good man’s path is easy!
    How many of you have ever run out of gas? I got down to 1 mile in the tank. It wasn’t that I didn’t know I was low on gas, I just kept saying, I’ll get some tomorrow. Anyone done that?
    Procrastination will make a problem into a crisis.

    Procrastination wastes opportunities

    Proverbs 20:4 NLT
    4 Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
    I grew up hearing this saying, Make hay while the un shines. IOW, when opportunity knocks, open the door. Take advantage of opportunities while you have them.
    The saddest words of tongue and men are, It might have been
    If only… While you are procrastinating, life is flying by.

    Procrastination hurts people

    When we delay or procrastinate, it prevents us from showing love to others. Love requires commitment, energy, commitment and action. A lot of people don’t want to work at loving others… remember easy is our favorite word.
    Procrastination or laziness causes problems with our children. Lazy parents produce problem children. Marriages break up because of laziness.
    So how can we get rid of procrastination in our lives?

    Getting Rid of Procrastination

    1. Stop making excuses

    Proverbs 22:13 The Living Bible
    13 The lazy man is full of excuses. “I can’t go to work!” he says. “If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street and be killed!”
    Have you ever noticed that other people make excuses, but we have our reasons?
    Here are some excuses people give their insurance companies when they had a wreck.
    Going home from work I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.
    The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.
    As I pulled away from the side of the road, I glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.
    In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.
    I was on my way to the doctor's with rear end trouble when my universal joints gave way, causing me to have an accident.
    I had been driving my car for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.
    The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve off its path when it struck my front end.
    The pedestrian had no idea which way to go, so I ran over him.
    What’s your excuse? Have you been saying that one of these days… you will…
    "People who are good at making excuses are rarely good at anything else." Ben Franklin
    What is your excuse for procrastinating, for putting off your spiritual growth?

    2. Start today

    Don’t wait. Go ahead and start.
    A modern fable tells about how his Satanic Majesty solved the problem of the loss of patronage in his Infernal Domain. It seems that he found there were still many “prospects” on the Planet Earth. But why weren’t they coming to him?
    After cudgeling his brain until both horns hurt, he decided he’d use Earth’s method for solving problems. He’d have a contest.
    So … he gathered all his little Imps together and explained the problem. “One week from today,” he growled, “we will meet together right here … and the one who has the best solution to the problem of our lack of business will receive an asbestos helmet and a gold pitchfork.”
    Since the prizes offered were so attractive, the little Imps of Satan diligently picked their own and each other’s brain all week. Came the Big Day, and many were the suggestions offered, but Brother Brimstone won the prize. What was unique about his Big Idea? Listen!
    “First,” chortled Brimstone, “we will pick out a nice, juicy prospect. Then we will put our arm around his shoulder and say, “Tell me, Mr. Smith, how would you like to go to Heaven when you die?” Naturally he’ll say yes, so then we proceed. “Then here’s what you’ll have to do: Stop that heavy drinking and carousing, stay away from your neighbor’s wife …” ” He was interrupted by a clamor from the rest of the Imps.
    “Whose side are you on … anyhow?” they screamed.
    But Brother Brimstone had anticipated their clamor. He held up one front hoof to quiet them. “Hear me out,” he smiled, “I then whisper in his ear: “But you don’t have to start doing those things right now … just SOME MORE CONVENIENT TIME!” ”
    And Brimstone got the prize.
    E. Schuyler English told about being approached in the lobby of a hotel by a person he had met earlier on one of two occasions. After exchanging greetings, the man said, “By the way, the reason I made myself known to you is because my brother frequently mentioned your name. He was a minister and had some of your books in his library.” Continuing the account of that meeting, Dr. English related, “Assuming that this casual acquaintance shared the faith of his brother, I told him what a happy experience I always had when I met a fellow-believer.
    “At that moment his wife joined us and he introduced me to her. Then he said, “My brother had all our family’s religion. He used to keep after me to “turn to Christ,” as he put it. Who knows? Maybe I will someday.” It’s getting pretty late, I told him. Today is the day of salvation! “You sound just like my brother,” he replied. Taking his wife’s arm, he led her away, saying with a smile, “We’ll be seeing you.” Nine days later I read his name in an obituary column.
    Proverbs 27:1 NLT
    1 Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
    None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. You may be in the habit of saying, tomorrow… no! That’s a warning light that you are procrastinating. Start today. Stop procrastinating and get moving.
    Write down three things God wants you to do in three areas.
    Family -
    Personal life
    Career…
    Choose one and start today. Not tomorrow… today! You will feel better.
    A few weeks ago, we watched a program about our space program. The Saturn 5 rocket was huge and it was powerful. But the most energy was spent just getting the rocket off the pad. Once it’s in orbit, it doesn’t require much if anything. If you can only work on your goal 15 minutes per day, do it.

    3. Establish a planned out schedule

    Proverbs 13:16 The Living Bible
    16 A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it!
    If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Designate time each week for your project… put it on your calendar. Put your Bible Study on your calendar… QT… If you wait until you have time, you will never do it because you will never have time.
    Plan it and put it on your schedule. A wise man plans ahead....
    If you don’t plan ahead, you are not being wise.
    Ephesians 5:15–16 NLT
    15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
    I heard about a man who memorized 1,000 Bible verses at Red Lights… authors have written books while on the Subway.
    Here is a key

    Break down big projects into small pieces

    A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. Plan life out, establish a schedule.

    4. Face your fears

    This is the root. If we are avoiding something, it’s because it’s something you are afraid of. Identify your fears and then face them and deal with them.
    There are two fears that really derail us.
    Fear of Failure. So many people are afraid of failing that they don’t start… they don’t try. They are afraid they will embarrass themselves…
    Fear of success. What if I do succeed, then I have to keep going and maintain it. How can I keep from falling off of the pedestal?
    We don’t like to admit our fears because we think it makes us look weak. Listen to me… Fear is a sign that you are human. Only fools are not afraid. Mark Twain said, "Courage is not the absence of fear, it's moving ahead in spite of them." There is only one way to deal with any fear, and that’s to face it.
    When you avoid dealing with the fear, it gets bigger, when you face it, it becomes smaller.
    Philippians 4:13 NLT
    13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
    Circle everything. You can do that thing you fear through Christ who gives you the strength.

    5. Focus on the gain not the pain

    We live in a microwave culture. We don’t like pain and we thing everything should resolve itself in 1 hour. Listen, life is not easy, but you have to look past the pain to the gain… to your goal. Look at the reward not the task. MD while you are in the middle of pre-med… Focus on the gain… not the pain. You will need to focus on the gain… the goal. It’s like doing homework when you first get home from school so you can enjoy the rest of the evening. It’s like doing the most important tasks at the beginning of the day so you don’t dread it all day.
    Galatians 6:9 GNB
    9 So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.
    We need to refocus, and ask God what he wants us to do. Immature people follow their feelings.
    Jesus never said it would be easy. There will be sacrifice and commitment, but there is a tremendous reward when we push through those paper barriers.
    Conclusion -
    Ship Captain’s Fault -
    The steamship Central America, on a voyage from New York to San Francisco, sprang a leak in mid-ocean. A vessel, seeing her signal of distress, bore down toward her. Perceiving her danger to be imminent, the captain of the rescue ship spoke to the Central America, asking, “What is amiss?” “We are in bad repair, and going down. Lie by till morning!” “Let me take your passengers on board NOW,” said the would-be rescuer. It was night, and the captain of the Central America did not like to transfer his passengers then, lest some might be lost in the confusion, and, thinking that they would keep afloat some hours longer, replied, “Lie by till morning
    Once again the captain of the rescue ship called: “You had better let me take them now.” “Lie by till morning” was sounded back through the night. About an hour-and-a-half later, her lights were missed! The Central America had gone down, and all on board perished, because it was thought they could be saved at another time. While salvation is offered you, now, do not delay to receive Christ

    What needs changing in your life that you are putting off?

    Don’t say some day I will ....... First 15, Bible Reading, Tithing, Bible Study, Memorizing, Meditating, Ending a relationship,
    Don’t wait. Stop Making Excuses… Start Today… Establish a Schedule… Break down big project into little pieces… Face your Fears… Focus on the Gain not the pain…
    Ask Jesus to help you stop procrastinating. Open your heart up right now and ask Jesus to come into your life and to be your personal Savior.
      • James 4:17ASV

      • James 1:8ASV

      • Ecclesiastes 11:4ASV

      • Proverbs 18:9ASV

      • Proverbs 13:4ASV

      • Proverbs 15:19ASV

      • Proverbs 20:4ASV

      • Proverbs 22:13ASV

      • Proverbs 27:1ASV

      • Proverbs 13:16ASV

      • Ephesians 5:15–16ASV

      • Philippians 4:13ASV

      • Galatians 6:9ASV

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