Did you know there’s actually a Procrastinators Club of America? They claim 20,000 registered members, but they also affirm that 20 million more haven’t got around to joining yet. Their motto is “We’re behind you all the way!” They hold a Fourth of July party every January 6th. Do we have any members present this morning?
Why do people procrastinate? Why do people put off tasks to some future time that need to be accomplished today? Why do some drag their feet postpone breaking a habit today until some later date? Why do they take a rain check on dealing with uncomfortable circumstances until a better day?
Here are some myths about procrastination?
Myth # 1: I can’t today because I might fail!
People who succeed don’t succeed because they never failed but because they learned from their failures. John Maxwell’s book Failing Forward is all about learning from inevitable failures.
Myth # 2: This task is just too hard. I don’t have the energy!
We usually have the energy to do what is important. It is like high school or college students who are just too tired to complete an assignment. But a buddy calls up and says, “Hey, man, lets go shoot some hoops.” An amazing burst of energy suddenly rushes through the student’s just a second ago exhausted body.
Myth # 3: I can’t do this job perfectly.
We are dillydallying when we say, “I’ve got to prepare some more. There are to many flaws.” Chuck R. Swindoll wrote:
The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind–jump in.
It is like most Christmas plays. If you have directed one you know you can’t just keep practicing until it is perfected. At the last practice before the actual play, you know the play is going to be a disaster. You have practiced, you have done you best, and guess what? The play is a success. Perfection is the mother of procrastination.
Myth # 4: I have other things to do (things usually not as important).
Procrastinators are not always lazy. Some are very busy doing things that are not the most important. They are doing the urgent instead of the most important. They are like the deck hands on the sinking Titanic straightening the deck chairs when the ship is taking on water and people are frantically loading lifeboats on ships.
Let’s look first at some Bible characters that were defeated by procrastination and then later at a Bible character that defeated procrastination.
1. Procrastinators who say, ”Tomorrow, I Will Get Saved”
Pharaoh the Procrastinator
God is pouring out His ten plagues in Exodus 7-12 because of Pharaoh’s rejection of God’s invitation to get right with Him. Each plague is directed toward an Egyptian false god.
Stephen Davey describes the frog god:
The Egyptians had a key god called Heka. Heka was known as the frog god. This god was actually a goddess whose body was shaped like a woman, but whose head was shaped and fashioned like a frog. It was not a very attractive god. So the frogs, although they were considered unclean, were revered. This goddess was considered the goddess of fertility. She was supposedly the one that would aid women in childbirth.
God attacked this frog god in the second plague in Exodus 8. Egypt was flooded with green, slimy, croaking frogs. Frogs were in their beds, between the cushions on the couch, in the cabinets, in the oven, in their pots and pans.
It was like Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie, Birds, except in this horrible nightmare there were frogs everywhere.
Pharaoh finally calls for Moses and said, “In treat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord” (8:8). Moses asked Pharaoh, “When do you want me to ask the Lord to take away the plague of frogs?” Pharaoh’s unbelievable answer was, “Tomorrow.” What? Why did not Pharaoh shout, “Today” or “Right Now.” Pharaoh had hardened his heart against God. So his procrastination was really a postponement of repenting of his sin and turning to God (Exodus 8:15).
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. For some this is easy. They put off Christ as their Savior yesterday and they will do it again today.
In my next posts we will look at other procrastinators.
Hugh Pyle’s sermon One More Night with the Frogs
The Battle between the Gods by Stephen Davey on Pharoah’s procrastination
Felix, Later, Lord by Stephen Davey on Felix’s procrastination
Come before Winter by Dr. Clarence E. Macartney (some background of the sermon)
Come before Winter (The Sermon)