Procrastination is a terrible habit that can invade your life very easily. Like any habit, once it takes hold it is very difficult to change or overcome. Years ago I was sitting in my office at the bank, and a customer entered and tossed a wooden coin onto my desk. I picked it up and found inscribed on one side “A Round Tuit.” The point being made was: don’t get into the habit of procrastination by telling yourself “I will get around to it eventually.” I’m afraid we all use this excuse from time to time to justify doing what we want to do instead of doing what we ought to do!
The Bible has much to say about taking advantage of the opportunities we have today. We have been given no promise of tomorrow. James wrote “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’-yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (4:13,14). Joshua understood this same concept as he prepared the Israelites to live in the land of Canaan without his leadership. He charged them to “choose this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh 24:15).
These are but two examples from Scripture which should teach us that today is the day to prepare ourselves for eternity. Paul told the brethren in Corinth, “He says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2). It is true that God has continued to this very day to be patient in giving us time to repent (Rom 2:4). However, His patience will someday come to an end. We must not allow the prospect of tomorrow distract us from where our focus needs to be today. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Mat 6:33,34). My priority for today must be to do what is necessary to please the LORD and to serve Him faithfully in His kingdom.
While the prospects of tomorrow can be distracting, our past can also hinder us. Paul looked forward with anticipation to a future resurrection when he wrote, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phi 3:13,14). Because he had a reward in the future, Paul determined not to let anything distract him or prevent him from reaching it—including his past. Although he was formerly “a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent” and was “foremost” of sinners, he also “received mercy” and became an example to others who would be saved and come to serve the LORD (1 Tim 1:12-15). Equally important for us is to continue to serve God today despite how faithfully we might have served in the past. While encouraging the Corinthians to run the race before them, Paul acknowledged his own potential to be “disqualified” if he did not continue to serve faithfully (1 Cor 9:24-27).
We have already mentioned the challenge issued by Joshua: “Choose this day whom you will serve.” No one can make that choice for you; each person will make his or her own decision. But beware, because putting the decision off until tomorrow is a decision in itself! God’s eternal purpose is to save mankind from the sins that separate him from the Father. He has done everything necessary to make salvation possible for everyone, but He will force no one to accept it. It is up to us to accept it by being obedient to His instructions. There is no other time to do that but now. Now is the favorable time and now is the day of salvation. Today is the day to make yourself right with God!