Are you the type that desires to complete all these tasks, but finds yourself falling short of completing them?
Recognizing what procrastination is
Many women fall into the habit of procrastination and do not even notice they do it, but today I am going to discuss how we (myself included) can recognize procrastination within our own lives, and begin to overcome it in the new year.
I am sure we all know what procrastination means, but for those that want a description, here it is! Procrastination means to delay doing something or put it off at this time.
Now honestly think about something you have wanted to get done and have yet to complete it. Now let me ask you something else, is that thing you thought of something you have mentioned to yourself, spouse or friend more than once in the last month?
My dears, this is procrastination, and is something that is easily applied to in our daily lives and schedules of our lives because it is so simple to say “I will get it done when…”
But we all know there are areas in our life, where that “when” never comes until months later, if ever at all. This is a case of the procrastinating thoughts which have tricked us into believing them, thus being lazy and sluggard to complete the task or project we have set before us.
Procrastination is a sin
In God’s word, He states many scriptures about procrastination and how this is actually a sin in our lives, allow me to explain.
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4:17 NKJ
The scripture above clearly states the truth of procrastination in our lives. I know you are probably thinking how can this scripture be used to call procrastination a sin, but please allow me to dive deeper into scripture and I am sure by the time you are done reading these scriptures you will begin to see how it is a sin against God’s commandments in our lives.
In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. Proverbs 12:24
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23
Lazy hands makes for poverty, but diligent hands brings wealth. Proverbs 10:4
With these scriptures above you can see that being lazy actually brings destitution, strife, and turmoil. When we talk about all the wonderful things we are going to complete and work on in our lives, and then time goes on and we complete nothing.
We are making our lives destitute for the things we actually may need in our lives, and we are causing strife and turmoil not only in our own lives and hearts but those around us that may be affected by our procrastination.
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4
Sluggards do not plow in season, so at harvest time they look but find nothing. Proverbs 20:4
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 24:33-34
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:4
There are many scriptures in Gods word about being a procrastinator and we are called to heed to the wisdom and warning of such scriptures in our lives.
Afflictions from disobedience
Let’s take a man by the name of Jonah as an example here of how procrastinating can cause affliction in our lives. The book of Jonah in the bible is a prime example of disobedience to Gods request in his life, and thus causing him to sin against God.
“Arise, go to Nin’eveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” Jonah 1:2
The word Arise in the word of God means:
To begin to act; to exert power; to move from a state of inaction
So here we can see that God gave Jonah a command the moment He spoke to him. What follows is only the request of God, but what has started was a command from God to Jonah to begin, to act on behalf of God, to exert God’s power upon the people, to move from a state of inaction and doing nothing to move forward in the will of God.
Moving quickly on through the scriptures in Jonah chapter 1 you can see that Jonah ran from the presence of the Lord in disobedience. Knowing what he was supposed to do, but not doing it, and as we read above this is a sin that Jonah is committing unto God.
So Jonah, running from his duties he was called to perform at that moment he was told to “arise” decided to jump ship to Tarshish and flee the presence of the Lord. But we all know we cannot flee God, so God sends a great wind on the sea and there was a mighty tempest on the sea so that the ship was about to be broken up. (Jonah 1:3-4)
Keep in mind that because of Jonah’s disobedience, the place of his dwelling (the ship) that he thought would carry him safely to his hideout city in Tarshish began to be broken up.
Much like many areas of our lives when we disobey the rightful duties God has given us and begin to procrastinate against them. We will see that many areas in our lives begin to become broken up in disarray or begin to fall apart.
This also can be emotionally within ourselves, we begin to feel broken and not ourselves and struggle each day to obtain some kind of order in our lives and always feeling something is not right within us, no matter how hard we work at things in our lives.
And the longer we allow this to go on, the more broken our lives will become around us and within us.
We continue to read that many of the mariners were basically freaking out, and throwing things overboard and crying out to their gods. While Jonah was in the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. (Jonah 1:5)
Did you catch that? Jonah excluded himself from the reality of what he was doing by going to the lower parts of the ship. So as to not have to face the fact that he was in disobedience against God, and living in sin because he knew he must obey what God told him to do.
Not only was he mentally escaping his choices, but he was also sleeping during the storm. Basically the saying “out of sight, out of mind”.
How many times have we fully neglected our duties and responsibilities due to procrastination and we decide it is too overwhelming and too much to deal with, so we wallow in self-pity and fall asleep because we are exhausted from it all?
This is exactly what Jonah did, see when we begin to neglect the very thing that God has put in our lives to take care of.
We will notice that inside we will begin to be broken and feel so exhausted and overwhelmed by our disobedience that we only find rest in “checking out” from it all by sleeping. (Also see scriptures above about this in proverbs above on sleeping and resting and what it leads to)
We all know the rest of the story and have heard many meanings and purposes for the story. But I am wanting to direct attention to the beginning of the story to show the example of procrastination.
See like Jonah, we can neglect to do what we know we should be doing in our lives.
Applying it to your own life
For example, you see the dishes need to be done because if you don’t do them now it will pile up even more when you go to cook supper. But you would rather relax and do nothing because after all you’re the only one who ever cleans the house anyway and you deserve a break.
I used to not like dishes and would despise the thought of them until God showed me the blessing in it.
See when I stopped procrastinating about doing dishes three times a day for each meal set (small space living & no dishwasher) I noticed that I was finding my rhythm in it as it became a habit and one that I enjoyed to do once I started them because it meant my quiet time between me and my Lord.
It started to be my private time to talk to God about my day and recap on my thoughts before Him. And also in doing my dishes three times a day, it brought me joy because God knows I enjoy having a spotless house and dirty dishes to me personally is something I cannot stand!
But God showed me how if I would just do this and start it, He would give me the strength to complete it and not just complete it… but do it with joy and eagerness to meet with him while I do it.
There are many things in our lives that we unknowingly are procrastinating about, be it organizing that area of your house, working out every day, or even planning meals for the family. And do you ever notice that most of what you procrastinate about would actually have excellent results in your life if you would only stop procrastinating and putting it off?
“Every area in your life that you are procrastinating in actually holds a blessing for you; if you will only heed to obedience in doing it. “-Pamela A.
Finding the blessing
Think of all the things we are procrastinating in right now… And now think of the blessing you would reap from it if you would only complete it and do it.
See God created women especially, to be movers and doers (Proverbs 31 Women right there!), not to be lazy and stagnant in our duties as single women, moms, and wives. With each proper duty that God has assigned to us in each walk of our lives as women, He also placed a blessing there as well.
Like a hidden jewel waiting to be found, is the blessing of a woman who completes the tasks God has given her. – Pamela Allart
Ladies, we all know that there are areas of our lives that we have laziness towards. For me, it is working out every day, yet I know the benefits of this, not only for my own benefit towards my health but also my body image for my husband. But also because I am a vessel of the Lord and my body is the temple of God and I should be taking care of it as God would want me too.
There is always a blessing behind the purpose of you doing what you are called to do in your life.
When we begin to stop procrastinating we will reap of the blessing in that area and it is more than just having a clean home or an organized closet. You see with each area we are submitting ourselves to the obedience of God and being diligent in the work of our hands, God will show us the blessing in that very thing you have been putting off.
It is the enemy who causes us to believe the lie of procrastination, thus missing out on the blessings God has for us in those areas. Does that make sense to you?
The enemy does not want us to be blessed by God or to have anything to do with God, and so the enemy will cause us to be lazy and begin to question that which we ought to do and not do it. This causes us to sin, because we know what we ought to do, but do not do it… that is a sin.
And we know that sin separates us from God, this is the enemy’s plan with a simple little lie called procrastination.
How not to procrastinate
Now for the part that everyone is waiting for… How to not procrastinate in our lives and actually be active doers of what God has given us! So here is what I have learned and am still learning in my life as I walk out this journey to stop procrastinating in my own life!
I must have the strength from God to complete each and every task that I despise doing.
For instance when I would (and still do some nights) dread having to think of doing dishes at 8 pm at night when I am exhausted from already serving dinner and cleaning up the rest of the house. I sit quietly before God for a moment and ask Him to give me the strength to do the dishes because I do not have it and cannot do it on my own. And then after I ask this of God, I instantly go and turn the water on and get ready to “DO” the dishes.
I do not wait for the “feeling” or “desire” to do the dishes to come over me, because honestly, that will never happen! But I do “arise and begin to do it” and before I know it or even have thought of doing the dishes, I am already halfway through and actually happy I am doing them. See God gave me the strength to complete that which I despise doing when I began to arise and DO IT and then He stepped in and gave me the strength to complete it.
When you feel yourself lacking in those areas of life and notice you are procrastinating about it, sit quietly for a moment and ask God to help you, give Him your weakness (your lack of desire to do it, your laziness in it) ask for forgiveness and a heart of repentance about the procrastinating lies in your life you have so willingly allowed, causing you to sin against God.
Then get up and go start doing exactly what you asked for strength to do and God will honor your request because He knows you are serious about your prayer when you asked for strength to complete it and He will come through and give you the strength to complete that which you have been procrastinating in.
If it’s organization you need, trust me when I say He will give you the ideas to make it easier and more organized for you if you will only START and listen to Him as you are doing it. As the scripture states below, He is a God of order and not confusion so who better to ask for help in this area!
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints 1 Corinthians 14:33
Trust me when I say that if you ask God for strength to get something done in your life because you want to stop being a procrastinator, it is not going to come over you in a “desire or feeling” to do it.
But instead, it will come through your obedience to getting it done that you will find the strength to complete it. So begin praying and becoming a doer in the areas you procrastinate in and you will begin to see that your laziness will be turned into diligence. (Proverbs 31 Women again!)
For those that sit back and just pray about it and wait for a feeling to overtake them, giving them the motivation they need to get off the couch and get something done… I assure you, they don’t truly mean what they speak and they do not, in their hearts want to change from their procrastinating ways. For they enjoy the slumber of their laziness and will sadly reap the destruction in their lives because of it.
But for those that are fed up with being a procrastinator at heart, begin to do the exact thing you are putting off and continue to be in prayer during it and you will see how God will come through for you and give you strength, because He sees your heart is desiring change and willingness to change.
It will bring you great joy and fulfillment when you begin to ask God for strength and start working on the very thing you were putting off. You will begin to find joy in doing it every day because you know that you are honoring God with each obedient step you are taking to better yourself in that area, and setting yourself free from procrastination in your life.
So ladies, what is it in your life that you procrastinate about and why do you feel you cannot overcome it? As you have read I too struggle with this and my current procrastination is working out, is this something you desire to do as well but find yourself procrastinating in as well?
I would love to hear your stories of success and struggles, I assure you that you are not alone in this! So please feel free to comment below!