Rick Warren: Stop Procrastinating

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The Bible gives us five actions we can take to stop procrastinating:

1. Stop making excuses. “The lazy person claims, 'There's a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!'" (Prov.  22:13, NLT). What have you been saying you’re going to do “one of these days”? What do you make excuses about? The number one excuse I hear is, “When things settle down, then I’m going to ...” Things will never settle down. You must make a choice to prioritize what is important.

2. Start today. Not next month, next week, or tomorrow. “Never boast about tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen between now and then” (Prov. 27:1, GNT). None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow.

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3. Establish a planned schedule. Proverbs 13:16 says, “Every wise person acts with good sense, but fools show how foolish they are” (Prov. 13:16, NCV). If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. You need to designate some specific time slots each week for the things you need to do. Whatever it is, put it on your calendar. And if it’s a big task, break it down into small pieces. Break it into bite-size pieces.

4. Face your fears. We hate to admit we have fears, because we think they’re a sign of weakness. But fear is a sign of humanity. Only fools are not afraid. You’ve heard it said, “Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s moving ahead in spite of our fears.” The Bible says there is nothing you cannot master with the help of Christ who gives you strength.

5. Focus on what you gain, not the pain. There are very few things in life that are easy. You must push through the frustration and look at the gain beyond the pain. Concentrate on how good you’re going to feel once you’ve finished the task.

Galatians 6:9 says, "So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up" (NLT).

Jesus never said life would be easy. There will be sacrifice and commitment. But there is tremendous reward when we do the things he calls us to do.

Talk About It

  • Don’t ask, “What do I feel like doing?” Instead ask, “What does God want me to do?”
  • I want you to write down three things you know God wants you to do, one item each in these three areas: your family, your personal life, and your career. Choose one of those three, and start today. Even if you can only work on your goal 15 minutes a day, do it — you’ll feel so much better!

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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