Have you ever looked for the word procrastinate in the Bible? Maybe you were disappointed when you didn’t find it. While it’s true that the word procrastinate is not actually found in the Bible, I believe that there are many Bible verses about procrastination and using our time wisely, and I have several verses and passages to share with you!
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1. What Does the Bible Say About Procrastination?
We are going to look at a lot of Bible verses about procrastination and using our time wisely. I will share some thoughts about these verses, but I encourage you to ask the Lord to open these verses and cause His Holy Spirit to apply them to your heart. There is life and power in the Word of God, and we need God’s life and power living through us so that we may use our time for His glory!
While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
There is nothing more serious to procrastinate about than whether or not you will accept Jesus and His salvation. Jesus died and took the punishment for our sins so that we could be forgiven if we ask. But, so many put off this call and never ask. None of us know how much time we have. If the Holy Spirit is calling, listen to His voice! Don’t harden your heart and be lost as so many have been.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
These are words of Jesus from when He was on earth. He knew that He only had a limited time here on earth to do the work that His Heavenly Father had given Him to do. While we do not know how long we have, the same is true for us. We only have a certain amount of time to fulfill the job God has given us, and if we procrastinate, we may miss out on the beautiful plan He has for us.
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Remember how Esther risked her life for her people? She had to do this at a specific time, and God had her in just the right place at the right time. God also has you where you are for a reason. He has a plan to use you for good in His kingdom! Seek His will and His strength, and be faithful like Queen Esther. Be willing to lay down your life and your goals each day for what God has for you.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
How do we redeem time? By spending it! Time is going to pass no matter how we use it. The important thing is that we redeem it by exchanging it for things that last.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Maybe you have been trying to do the things that you are called to, and it doesn’t seem like it makes any difference. You become tempted to procrastinate or stop doing the things you are called to do because you are discouraged. Don’t be weary in well-doing! Continue redeeming the time, resting in God’s unchanging promise that you will reap if you continue in His strength.
And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
When we are serving God, we cannot put our own interests and desires ahead of His will. Our whole heart must be given to God and to His plan.
2. More Bible Verses About Procrastination
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
This tells us what we should do first. One definition of procrastination is to put off intentionally. That means doing one thing instead of doing another. The first thing we should be doing is seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness. Overcoming procrastination does not mean working every minute. It may often mean stopping what we are doing to spend time with the Lord.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
If we do stop to number our days, it can be sobering. Compared to eternity, our days are not many, even if we live to old age. We need to number our days and remember that we will not be on earth that long. This should serve as a reminder that we do not have time to waste.
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
Laziness and procrastination can be related. Notice how this passage says “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.” It’s as though the lazy person keeps saying they will do it later. Procrastinating.
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Jesus has given each one of us work to do, and one day He is going to return. Will He find us watching and doing the work He gave us to do, or will we be sleeping and doing our own pleasure?
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Here it is again. Just a little more sleep. A little more sleep. It’s time for us to wake up to what God has given us to do! Look at the tiny little ants! They put us to shame by their faithfulness in doing what God created them to do.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
There is a time for everything that God wants us to do. But, you know what? If we miss the time for something He has given us to do, it may not return. I also want to point out here that God gives us both work and rest. Not procrastinating does not mean you never rest or take time to do enjoyable things. It just means that you do them at the right time and not at the time when God has given you something else to be doing!
3. What is the Root Cause of Procrastination?
I believe that one of the root causes of procrastination is misplaced values. What is the valuable resource that God gives us each day and that can never be recovered once the day is past? Time! The time God gives us is a valuable commodity He has given us to give back to Him in love, fellowship, and service.
When we procrastinate instead of doing the things God gives us to do, we are showing that we value our own current comfort and pleasure more than we value the time God has given us and the activities He has put before us.
If we would stop and think in the moment about the way we are squandering this precious resource from God, do you think it would make a difference? Quite often, it probably would. So often, we forget how valuable our time is and don’t take it seriously.
Remember, if you choose to procrastinate today, it will just make that much work for tomorrow. When we procrastinate we are only thinking about today’s pleasure and not future consequences. Let’s ask God to remind us to use our time wisely for Him!
4. Why is Procrastinating Bad?
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Wow, how this hits home for those of us who procrastinate (which I think is everyone to a greater or lesser degree.) When we put off the things that God has called us to be doing, that is sin. Procrastination is serious, and something that needs to be overcome in God’s strength.
We may think that we have our plans all laid out, but the truth is, only God knows the future. This is why it is so important for us to be willing to give Him our plans and trust Him and His plans and timing. When God shows us something He wants us to do, we need to do it, even if it’s not what we have picked. Why? Because if we have been given something by God to do, it will be good, and not doing the good He has shown us is sinful.
5. How Do You Overcome Procrastination?
After reading so many Bible verses about procrastination and using your time wisely, hopefully, you are inspired to redeem the time and not procrastinate. But, I think we know it’s not as easy as just deciding to do differently. Most likely, you, like me, have already tried to improve the way you use your time. So, if trying harder is not the answer, what is?
The solution is the same for this as for all other areas of life. It’s not a formula; it’s a person and a relationship with Him. The only way we can use our time wisely is to let Jesus live His life through us. He is the only One Who can take our time and use it for His glory. He gave us our time; let’s give it back to Him!
How do we do this? We ask Jesus to take us!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We present our bodies to Jesus to use, asking each day that He would live through us, take us and our time, and accomplish His perfect purpose. And what else? How can we be changed? By the renewing of our minds! We are changed by what we think about and meditate on. This is why we need to be thinking about Bible verses. Meditating on Scripture transforms us and makes our minds new.
I would encourage you to memorize some of these Bible verses about procrastination. Then, think about them. By meditating on Scripture and letting Jesus live through you, you will be changed! With God’s help, you can use your time wisely for His glory.
- Time is valuable. We are only given a limited amount of it. If we procrastinate, we may miss God’s beautiful plan and the opportunities He has given us!
- Seek Jesus’ strength to use your time for His glory.
- Meditate on Scripture verses about using your time wisely so that your mind and heart may be changed.
Which of these Bible verses most stood out to you? Can you think of any Bible verses about procrastination and using our time wisely for God?
Until next time, redeem the time and spend it for the glory of God!