Another example of this same thinking error, the lack of time perspective, involves the tendency to say, “Why worry about that now? I’ve got plenty of time.” Children demonstrate this thinking error when it comes to weekends and doing their homework. They want to wait until the last minute on Sunday night to get it done. As adults, we might put off paying bills, until they’re delinquent. We wait to get caught up until the debt collectors have handed over our bills to collection agents and the pressure to pay has increased.
We see this in criminals when they dilly-dally around, and come up with one excuse after another, to put off doing responsible things – like get a real job. Procrastination is actually fear cloaked in nonchalance. They know that if they never start a job, they’ll never have a chance to fail and get fired from the job. But if they don’t go for the job, they’ll never have a chance to succeed, either.
You will also see this in ex-offenders lives when they keep putting off meeting with their probation or parole agent, because it could be unpleasant … or it takes time out of their day … or they don’t have the money. It is usually a condition of probation or parole that an ex-offender pays for the cost of supervision, or at least a portion of what it costs to supervise a probationer or parolee. My granddaughter ran from the law one time because she didn’t have the $50 to pay her parole officer. Finally, an ex-offender will show up at their meeting because it has become a priority; not showing up could mean the loss of their freedom with no more opportunities for parole.
Procrastinators’ problems run deep. The more they ignore their responsibilities and keep putting things off to tomorrow, the more they spend their time in a state of urgency, and even panic, trying to address the things that have gotten out of control in their lives. It takes something more than “being more self-disciplined” or “changing bad habits” for the procrastinator to change his/her ways. It takes God.
This thinking error points to an issue of time management beyond how we use our time every day. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Paul isn't just telling us to make the most of every moment in every day, although that is certainly good advice. He is telling us to make the most of the time we have left on earth, because time is running out and we need to share the good news of the Gospel with everyone we can.
Continue to Chapter 20