What does the Bible say about procrastination? How can I stop procrastinating?

Procrastination is "the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done." Procrastination is putting off until tomorrow what could be done today. Mastering this problem is all about knowing our priorities and learning to have good time management. We are only on this earth for a short time, so we should be sure to make the best use of every day we are alive.

Even King David said, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath” (Psalm 39:4-5). The apostle James said the same sort of thing in James 4:14: “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” The apostle Paul warned, "Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

We are all guilty of procrastinating at some time or another. Not that that makes it OK or anything! But your frustration is one we totally get. While the Bible does not mention the word "procrastination," we can still take some biblical principles and apply them to this dilemma.

Why do we procrastinate?

Sometimes we're just being plain lazy, which is something the Bible speaks against (Proverbs 15:19; 18:9). We should be diligent in everything we do because we are living our lives for God (Colossians 3:23).

Sometimes our to-do list is so full that we get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing at all. Or we allow ourselves to get distracted by social media, the black hole of YouTube or Pinterest, or whatever seems more interesting than getting the work done. Or we aren't sure what we're supposed to be doing first, so our priorities get out of whack.

The trick is really to make your to-do list important to you. If finishing homework, doing chores, or meeting deadlines is not a priority to you, then there is really nothing that will help you stay on track.

You must really, truly WANT to manage your time well. That is the first step! If your desire is to master your tasks, then you're giving God the space in your life to help you do it. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Don't Procrastinate About THIS Stuff

The Bible says that there are some things that we shouldn't procrastinate about—like making up with a friend after a fight (Matthew 5:23-25) or making amends with anyone who has made us angry (Ephesians 4:26-27).

When it comes to sharing the Truth of the Gospel, we should definitely not wait until "later". Jesus gave us a metaphor about evangelism in Luke 14:21 when He talked about a man inviting people to a great banquet. As he sent out his servants with the invites, he said, "Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame" (emphasis added). He didn't say, "Go out whenever you get a chance;" He said, "Go out QUICKLY."

Life is short, and we have no idea what tomorrow will be like (James 4:13-14). The Bible tells us to get right with God ASAP (Hebrew 3:12-13, 15) for we have no idea when Jesus will be back (Luke 12:40).

How can I have better time management?

There are lots of different ways to manage your time, but you have to find the thing that works best for you and the way your life is structured. Some people make lists, others set alarms, others have sticky notes on their bathroom mirrors, some people write everything on a calendar, some use to-do list apps on their phones...

The method really depends on what works best for you. Once you have some options that seem like they might work, ask God to help you choose one (James 1:5).

The important thing is that once you have chosen a way to stay organized and manage your time better, STICK TO IT! Ask God to help you remember things and help motivate you to just do the things that need to be done right away—rather than waiting for some vague time "later".

Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."

Hopefully this has helped you start thinking about ways to beat your procrastinating ways! We all need reminders of this from time to time too; it's nothing we can have totally figured out forever. Don't get discouraged if you stumble a bit. Get back up and try again. :-)

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

"As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good." - 2 Thessalonians 3:13





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Catiana Nak Kheiyn is the webmaster and editor of 412teens.org and regularly teaches local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her family—a mountain man, an adorable little girl and boy, four socially awkward cats, and a curly-tailed dog.