Saturday, May 23, 2020

Don’t Put Off until Tomorrow - Martin Wiles

Series: 3 Unforgettable Lessons Learned from Dad

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4 NLT

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

I heard the statement numerous times from dad. I’m not sure if he heard this from his parents—they were like second parents to me, and I never heard them say it—but if he didn’t, he must have picked it up from somewhere else. As the first-born child, this was another part of his effort to teach me responsibility. I suppose, along life’s way, he had learned some lessons about procrastination—a fancy word for not putting off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Dad pastored churches and in all of them had to unlock the doors on Sunday mornings. So he arrived early. Thirty minutes to be exact. Mom came later. She was never ready. His logic? He needed to leave early just in case something happened along the way. You never knew when things might happen. Traffic jams, wrecks, flat tires, etc.

My personality made learning this lesson easy. When I began working, I showed up thirty minutes early—sometimes earlier. Something might happen along the way, and I wanted to be ready to do my job when the time came for me to start. I’m now almost retirement age, and I still carry out the lesson. When I go to a movie, the theater, or out to eat, I always show up earlier than the starting time. If I have an appointment, I’m there early. The trouble is, I expect others to follow suit, but not everyone thinks the same as I do about procrastination.

I once taught a student who had an English project due on a Monday. A project she had known about since the first day of school when I gave her the syllabus. The Friday before it was due, she wanted more information and explanation. I refused. I wanted to teach her the lesson Dad had taught me: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” She didn’t appreciate my effort.

The wisest man who ever lived said something similar: If you put off working, you won’t prosper. Nor will you have money to pay the bills or put food on the table.

Among the many things I shouldn’t put off are turning my life over to Christ, loving my spouse and children, being kind, sharing God’s love, praying, reading God’s Word, loving others, forgiving others, and working hard. I think I’ll do those today.

What are you putting off that you shouldn’t?

Prayer: Father, prompt us to do today those things we should.

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