Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Why the Delay?
Have you been thinking about doing something that God has laid on your heart for a long time but you’ve been putting it off? What is it for you? Is it trying to start that home Bible study? Is it inviting your neighbor to church for the first time? Is it accepting the open positon for a Sunday school teacher or substitute at your church? Is it trying to talk to that family member about their need for the Savior? We know that we only have a certain number of days (Ephesians 5:16), and you don’t want to enter the kingdom with any regrets, so take that first step of faith and trust God. If you know it’s God’s will and you feel He’s calling you to do it, don’t stick your toe in the pool–jump in and make the most of every opportunity God is giving you (Colossians 4:5)!
Rewards for Risks
We know that great rewards come for those who take great risks. So what is it that you’ve been thinking about doing for a long time but keep putting off for fear of failure? Some things are risky, but the rewards are often deeply satisfying. I started a nursing home ministry once and had no idea what I was doing. I had wanted to do this for a long time, but the uncertainty of it all kept me from doing it. I had no training, no formal preparation and had no clue about what to expect. So what did I do? I just walked in and visited with the administrator and took it from there. The first time I went in to visit the residents, residents’ family members, and the staff, they all looked at me like “Who is that? What are you doing here? What do you want?” Today they know why I’m there. I finally did what I felt God was asking me to do. Was it easy? Nope. Was it satisfying? Yep!
The Disease of Procrastination
Anyone who’s been infected with what I call the disease of procrastination knows it can be deadly, debilitating, and disabling. It can be overwhelming. It literally freezes you up. I learned in college to always to do the hardest things first. That way things became easier in my assignments as the week progressed. At first I kept procrastinating, like the proverbial Christmas Eve shopper who waits until the last day to do his or her shopping. If there is something you need to do that God’s been calling you to do, let me suggest some advice from my hard teacher called “experience.” Get the hardest part over first. Then it gets easier and you’ll stop putting off what you’ve always wanted to do in your life. This was how it was when I first witnessed to strangers in the mall. It was scary, but afterwards it was such a joyful experience heading home because I stopped putting off for so long what I knew God was calling me to do. What is that for you?
A Closing Prayer
Father, I know it is scary to start something new or to do something I’ve never done before. But if I know it’s in Your Word, which means it’s Your will that I should do it, and I’ve been putting it off for a long time, help me to overcome that first step because I don’t want to resist Your will and want to be obedient to You. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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