HomeBible TopicsBible Topics: Procrastination

Definition: The tendency to keep putting off what needs to be done.

1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what can and should be done today.

* Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

* Proverbs 10:5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. [See also Proverbs 20:24.]

* Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

* Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

* John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I [Jesus] say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

* 1 Corinthians 7:29a But this I say, brethren, the time is short.

* Hebrews 4:7 Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

2. One of the Devil’s favorite wiles is “wait awhile.”

* Genesis 19:16 [Lot loitered and had to be lugged out of lascivious Sodom:] And while he lingered, the men [the two angels] laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

* Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

* Ezekiel 12:22,27,28 Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? … 27 Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that [the prophet] seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. 28 Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken [regarding impending judgments] shall be done, saith the Lord God.

* Matthew 8:21 And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

* Luke 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

* Acts 24:25 [The Roman governor Felix calls a recess to let the conviction cool.] And as [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

* 2 Peter 3:3,4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the Last Days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

3. God has His times, and we’d better keep in step with Him.

* 1 Samuel 21:8b The king’s business required haste.

* Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven. [See also verse 17.]

* Ecclesiastes 8:5b A wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.

* Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.

* Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

4. Delayed obedience often leads to total disobedience.

* Exodus 16:4 [The Lord often tests us in “little” things to see how quickly we will obey.] Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from Heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no.

* Exodus 22:29a Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits.

* 1 Kings 13:9,14,19-24a [The young prophet had a specific commission from God, but laid down on the job before he’d finished — with dire consequences.] For so was it charged me [the young prophet] by the Word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. 14 And [the old prophet] went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. … 19 So [the young prophet] went back with [the old prophet], and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. 20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the Word of the Lord came unto the [old] prophet that brought him back: 21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, 22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24a And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him. [See verses 1-32.]

* 2 Chronicles 24:5 And he [King Josiah of Judah] gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.

* Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

* Ecclesiastes 10:18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

* Matthew 7:26,27 And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

* Matthew 21:28-31a But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31a Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto Him, The first.

* Luke 13:24,25 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.

* Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

5. Procrastination won’t cost us our salvation, but it may cost us the rewards we could receive for instant, diligent obedience.

* Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

* Matthew 24:45,46,48-51 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. … 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

* Matthew 25:24-28 [The man who procrastination lost his reward to another who was more faithful.] Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

* Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

* Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

6. Learn to live each day as though it were your last.

* Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

* John 9:4 I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

* Romans 13:11,12,14 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

* Ephesians 6:13 [Even when one battle is won, don’t slack off. — Be prepared for the next.] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

* James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. [See also 1 Chronicles 29:15b.]

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