There! See, that helps, doesn’t it?
If only it were that easy.
I think some personalities are more prone to procrastinating than others. Maybe those who, like me, tend to put off things we find hard, that seem scary, or we don’t like doing anyway. Then there’s that matter of not liking conflict and not wanting to rock the boat that’ll make a person drag their feet.
I’m here to tell you, though, procrastination on something you would like to do, but it scares you, means it never gets done. Procrastination on something that needs to be done anyway, or something for which you have a deadline, only makes the whole situation more stressful. It means you have to work harder, and usually faster, to get it done on time and that may mean that whatever you’re doing may not get done as well as if you were able to do it more thoroughly. Or, like me, you may have to go without sleep to get it done.
In college, I would stay up all night, if needed, studying for an exam the next day. Now I’m a lot (lot!) older, but I still pulled that same stunt this last weekend when I had a Monday deadline to get a book dummy finished and turned in.
As I often do, I underestimated just how much time it would take to get it finished.
I have a day job, well, actually a night job Tuesday through Friday nights, so I worked on it a lot of Saturday, but by late that evening, since I’d been up since 6pm Friday, my mind started going a bit fuzzy. My eyes had trouble focusing after a while and I got what I call “medicine head,” that swimmy feeling like when I take Sudafed or something. I knew I needed to get some sleep before church the next morning, yet by the time I went to bed that night, I’d been awake 29 hours. I slept 9 hours and managed to get a little done before church, but then I worked on it from the time I got home from church till the following afternoon — straight through. That time I was up 32 hours, from 8 am Sunday morning till I went to bed at 4pm Monday. If I wasn’t used to working nights, I don’t think I could’ve done it.
I got it finished, scanned in, and sent off by 3:30pm. My goal was to get it in before the end of the business day Monday, so I made it, by the grace of God. And believe it or not, except for my eyesight going a bit blurry because my eyes were drying out, I felt fine.
The Lord helped me get through, despite my weakness for procrastination, but I still wouldn’t recommend going that long without sleep. It’s not good for the body.
Really, though, procrastination is just a lack of self-discipline. I failed to push through and make myself do it weeks ahead of time. I failed to schedule out my time and stick to it so I’d have it done before that last minute pressure pushed me into doing it.
For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7 GNTD
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, so no believer can say they don’t have self-discipline. We are given it when we receive God’s Holy Spirit. We may, of course, choose to not put it into practice and develop it, because, as with anything, it takes time and effort on our part.
22But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
Because it’s a fruit of the Spirit, we have to water it with His Word, give it a lot of Son light, allow the Gardener to remove the weeds and prune back any wayward or blighted offshoots, and remember it takes time for it to fully mature.
Lack of self-discipline shows up in other ways in my life, too, like not exercising when I know I need to for my own health and running late a lot. Obviously, it’s something I need to work on.
What about you? Which fruit of the Spirit do you find you’re weakest in?