Procrastination and the Christian Life

Are you a procrastinator? 

You don't have to answer right now.

The reality is that most of us tend to procrastinate about some things at some times. For example, even an individual that files taxes on the first possible day may put off getting health screenings. Or, the person that starts and finishes every task at work early may delay making other decisions in life.

In a humorous TED talk, blogger Tim Urban describes the mind of a procrastinator and makes an important point that should resonate with Christians. 

Put off whatever else you were doing for 15 minutes and watch him describe the mind of the procrastinator. But make sure its okay if you laugh, because you probably will at some point.

If you've watched his talk, you should recognize the big point here. We only have a limited number of weeks, so we should avoid putting off the important things.

Urban would likely arrive at a different set of important things than a Christian would (or should), but the principle is generally the same.

Who have you not shared the gospel with? What important work are you putting off? What progress toward sanctification are you neglecting?

Redeem the Time

In Ephesians 5:15-17, Paul writes:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

We should accept that the will of God for us is, in general terms, for us to become holier and thus glorify him through everything we do. There may be more particular things that we are called to do, but everything in God's will should fall into the category of things that increase our sanctification and bring him glory.

But there is a key phrase here, which should convict all of us. Paul tells the Ephesians to walk carefully, "making the best use of the time."

He doesn't recommend making a productive use of the time or just not doing bad stuff in the time.

In fact, the reason that Paul gives for making the best use of the time is because the days are evil. This means that procrastination--and the instant gratification monkey--are things that we need to fight against. They are part of the world and flesh that we need to overcome.


Like everything else in life, we can err by fighting procrastination to an extreme degree so that we fail to enjoy our lives. 

We shouldn't be afraid to enjoy free time in our lives and to take pleasure in playing with our children. However, most of us fall on the procrastination side of the spectrum, so there is a lesson for us here.