From James 4:13-17. MISATKE #3. PUTTING OFF DOING GOOD. v.17. “Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins.”
James is talking about the issue of procrastination. “I’m intending to do it.” Ever met somebody who is always “aiming to do it.” I often want to say, “When are you going to pull the trigger?” Have you ever read the little poem below?
Procrastination is my sin, It only caused me sorrow. I know I ought to change my ways, In fact I will — tomorrow.
Every time I read that, I laugh. Many of us love to put off stuff we could do and should do today. James says that’s a trap. Don’t do it. In my teenage years, I was a procrastinator. Then Sharon and I got married at 19. The Lord changed my ways quickly. I found out that you can’t be the person God created you to be, the husband God desires you to be, the father you must be – if you keep putting off until tomorrow the things that ought to be done today. When I learned to follow through and complete the tasks of the day I’m in now, I learned I was freed up to tackle all the opportunities God would bring my way tomorrow. I was freed up to bless people and serve people tomorrow because I took care of my business today. Make sense? Some people never learn this life lesson and it haunts them. It dogs them.
How do you define sin? We think of evil activities: murder, adultery, cheat, lie, steal. Those are sins of commission. But there’s another kind of sin — sins of omission. “To him who knows to do good and doesn’t do it, it’s sin.” I can do nothing and still sin. Because there are things I ought to be doing. You can be a part of a legalistic church. “I don’t drink, smoke, cuss or chew… run around with girls that do.” And still sin. How? Why? You are not doing the things you should be doing. Folks, Christianity is more than simply avoiding evil. If all that the Christian life was, was a bunch of “don’t”s — don’t do this, don’t do that, then everybody who is dead would qualify as a Christian, because they don’t do anything.
Procrastination is a subtle trap — it’s the land of “Someday I’ll…” “One of these days …” and you never do because we presume upon tomorrow. “One of these days I’m going to get serious about God. One of these days, I’m really going to get committed. One of these days I’ll ask God to make me more urgent about today.” God says you don’t have any guarantee of tomorrow, none at all. Make hay today, while the suns still shining. And if you’ve got a laid back personality, know this – God will still hold you accountable to get done the things He gave you to do. What’s the solution?
“Do it now”. Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, `Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ — when you now have it with you.” If somebody comes to you and asks you a favor, don’t say “tomorrow — later”. Don’t procrastinate. If you can do it now, do it now.
Here’s the unvarnished truth – whatever you intend to do for the Lord, do it now! Not next week, next month, next year. Thinking about witnessing to a friend and inviting him to church? Do it now! Thinking about teaching a class and getting involved in Bible study? Do it now! Thinking about starting to tithe and giving? Do it now! Do your giving while you’re living.
2 Corinthians 6 says, “Right now God is ready to welcome you. Today He is ready to save you!” When is the best time to get it together with God? Right now. Today. Stop putting off things that should be done today, so you can be ready for what God brings you tomorrow. Deal?