Remember the saying, Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today? I’m pretty sure we’ve all been guilty of what I call the “putting-off until syndrome”. Let’s list a few that perhaps may look familiar to you:
- Do you put off starting that exercise and healthier eating plan for one more Monday?
- Are you putting off cleaning out that closet that is about to bust wide open if anyone attempts to add one more sneaker, box, broom or anything else?
- Perhaps you’re putting off taking the car to the shop when that warning light has been on in the car for weeks.
- Are you putting off having that difficult conversation with someone because you’re afraid of losing the relationship or you fear being rejected or misunderstood?
- You know God has spoken to your heart a thousand times about taking that course, writing that book, starting your blog, creating your business plan, serving in that particular area of ministry, giving to that particular charity, calling that person to invite her to the bible study group so she can get to know everyone, but you put it off, yet another day.
- If you have minor children, do you find yourself, in a moment of being overwhelmed saying, We’ll do it tomorrow. Mommy will take you tomorrow” but tomorrow doesn’t seem to come?
- You know that it’s time to make some life changes for the sake of your health but you keep putting it off, almost daring illness. Perhaps it’s been a very long time since you went to the Doctor for a physical or a mammogram and you know you should go but the inevitable putting it off syndrome has struck again. There’s a nagging pain in an area of your body and you continue to put off getting it checked out and in the mean time the situation has not cleared up. You keep telling yourself and loved ones, When I have time, I’ll go. When I have time, I’ll…
Many years ago there was a woman who turned to me in ministry for prayer and counsel. What started out as a cup of coffee together turned quickly into the sharing of some of her deepest pains. Her marriage was in serious trouble. She shared the hurts and surprisingly she was quite fair in sharing the perspectives of both her husband and herself without playing the blame game. What I was able to help this precious woman to see is that there were a ton of red flags along the three years of their marriage but both of them kept putting off getting help. They put off discussing the problems with one another because they didn’t want to address them–fear, insecurities, pride, selfishness and more was present and had grown like a mold on rotten cheese. It broke my heart as she collapsed into tears in my arms. They ultimately put off their marriage and the marriage was almost irreparable. I said almost because I am all for redemption as is our Lord! Nothing is impossible with God. Thankfully, I was able to work with both of them and the power of God took over and after a period of time, change began. I told them to never put off situations and problems that arise in their marriage again. Address them quickly, prayerfully and carefully.
There are a host of areas that people experience the “putting-off until syndrome”, and often we have reasons and excuses–valid or not valid. But, I’m a firm believer that if we continue to put off what we know we need to do in our personal, business and ministry lives then we will also live our spiritual life in the same manner. Haven’t we all been there a time or two, or three or more? Yes indeed.
- Putting off spending much-needed time with God in prayer and in His Word.
- Putting off examining ourselves within the pages of the Word so that we don’t begin to live more like the world.
- Putting off obeying the leadership of the Holy Spirit in areas that He is showing us we are tripping up or flat-out falling.
The putting off syndrome can hinder us in so many ways. Call it what you like–procrastination, laziness, avoidance, fear or exhaustion. The point is we have a God who is able to handle it all. We’ve got to turn to Him and ask God to help us to do whatever He puts before us to do, be, focus on, achieve, serve, give–today because as my Grandma used to say, Lisa, tomorrow is not promised.
One thing I know for sure, many of us are over-extended. Often times our plates of life are too full and we’ve missed hearing God on how to have plates of life that are more balanced and not over-crowded with all of our obligations and to-dos. Take a moment now and pray about your life. Ask God to show you where changes are needed and then ask Him to help you to make necessary changes. I’m doing the same thing in my own life. The awesome thing is He will show us and help us when we ask Him.
Cheering you on!