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The Sin of Procrastination

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household
       and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it;
       with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:15-16

Let me tell you something I am really good at. It’s not decorating, sewing or otherwise being crafty. It’s not cleaning or organizing, though I really wish it was. It’s not being super patient or disciplined in my exercising. Nope, I am great at procrastinating.

I know, it is not something to be proud of and I am working on it, but I am great at making lists of things I need to do and then putting those things off until the last minute. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes other things get in the way, but more often then I would like to admit, it happens because I assume I can get it done another day and then I run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

This is not something the Proverbs 31 woman is characterized by. Remember, she is the ideal woman and in this passage she is seen as faultless. A real Proverbs 31 woman is still a sinner. She might procrastinate at times, but it won’t be what characterizes her.

In Proverbs 31:15 we see a lady who knows the value of time and acts on it. She understands that we do not know how many days God has given us and therefore we need to make the most of each day.

    Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Proverbs 27:1

Jonathan Edwards wrote a great treatise called, Procrastination, or, The Sin and Folly of Depending on Future Time. In it he calls procrastination what it is – SIN. Ouch! It is presuming on God’s grace. It is presuming that God has given us tomorrow when he only promises today. We live as though God’s owes us another day, month, or year and that he must surely give it to us. The reality is that you and I have no idea as to how many days God will give us and this should cause us to act wisely in how we use our time.  However, most of us don’t see procrastination as an evil thing or a dangerous habit.

So let me give you some dangers in presuming upon God.

1. We put off God given relationships

When we live as though we have 30 more years to live we easily put off cultivating and growing the relationships that God has placed in our lives. We act as though we can play with our kids another day or go on that long overdue date with our spouse another night or share the gospel with our friend another week. We do not know how much time God has given us on this earth and we also do not know how much time God has given our children, spouse and lost friends.

2. We put off God given responsibilities

While relationships are more important than “things”, we are called to care for what we have. Every good thing that you have in your life comes from God (James). Therefore we need to take care of our home, making it a comfortable place for our families to live, we need to teach our children to care for their things, to love God and his word and we need to work hard on our marriage.
We also tend to put off caring for our bodies. We only have one body and the time to care for it is today.

3. We put off God

One way presuming on God plays itself out in our lives is that we end up putting God last, or at least not first. We live as though we have all the time in the world to study his word and get to know him more fully. Just like we need to cultivate our marriage we need to cultivate our relationship with Christ so that our love for him does not grow weak. We need to make sure that the world does not tempt us into being unfaithful to our ultimate bridegroom. Our true knight in shining armor.

These verses in Proverbs show us a woman who rises early in order to make the most of her time. (It is possible to rise early and waste your time.) The challenge is to imitate her godly example. In order to do so we need to identify what gets us off track. What leads you to procrastinate?
In order to become women who make the most of the day that God has made we need to become more disciplined, maybe ask a friend to keep you accountable and pray for strength to be a faithful steward of the time that God gives you today.

Looking to Jesus,

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  1. This is a great wrap up of this weeks lesson! Thank you for tying it all together & giving the challenge to live without procrastination! I am really enjoying your thoughts & perspective!

  2. Thank you for this amazing article. It has really hit home. I am going to make time this weekend and thing about what is important, and how I spend my time.

  3. Ohhh Jen!!! I always love reading your blog posts!!! Love your insights and what God puts on your heart!!!

  4. So true. So thought-provoking. So challenging. Now to get to work!

  5. Such a hard hitting post… Needed to hear this today! Thank you, Jen!

  6. It’s like you know exactly what I have been praying about. This is another kick I needed. Thank you :)


  7. So true Jen. It’s easy to sit down to blog. Look up, and two hours gone. Thank you for the good reminder of priorities and procrastination. Got to go clean the bathrooms (with singing praises, of course :).

  8. Teressa says:

    Thank you for this! honestly, as I read the title in my email list, I actually hovered over the delete button….I so struggle with this sin, and hate that I do!!
    God speaking through you straight to my heart!
    You offered a fresh revelation of what this sin looks like and I feel the not so gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to begin making changes.

  9. PLEASE, tell me about the PAINTING!! Sorry to go off topic (which was quite timely for ME!-Heh heh!) But I love this painting and am trying to find out the artist and all. THANKS!!

  10. Jen Thorn says:

    Thank you all for your kind words. These verses have convicted me many times and I am trying hard to make the most of mine time.

    Gaylin – The artists name is Robert Walter Weir. The title of it was “Mother’s Lessons”. Hope this helps.

  11. Procrastination is so easy, especially the ‘productive’ kind. I am forever struggling to keep myself in line and be productive – thank you for the reminder to not put off loving those around me! We have this moment, guaranteed.

  12. What a convicting post! Really really, truly convicting and felt like it was written just for me, lol. Wow! I suffer from procrastination daily. I must work on and call on God to give me strength to do much better! Thank you for posting this!

  13. Oh my. This one hits me right between the eyes. I never really considered my procrastination as sin before. I just assumed it was more of a bad habit. Now I see it more clearly….and I don’t like it one bit. This is my first visit here. Thanks!


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