CHAPTER 19

“I'll Git'er Done Tomorrow”

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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.

1. The older we get, the more we think about using our time wisely in light of eternity. We try to evaluate what really matters. Moses must have been feeling this when he prayed the words recorded in Psalm 90.
  a) How did Moses spend his first 40 years? (Exodus 2:1-15)
   
  b) How did Moses spend his next 40 years? (Exodus 2:11 – 7:7)
   
  c) How did Moses spend the final 40 years of his life? (Exodus 7:8-13 to Deut. 34:12)
   

2. Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us how to walk wisely, so that we make good use of the precious years that God allots to us count for His purpose and glory. Jesus lived to accomplish the Father’s purpose and knew that He had done so as His short life neared the end (John 17:4).  What are some of the things He accomplished during His 3 short years of ministry?  (Thought questions – answers will vary.)
 
 
  c)
  d)

3. The apostle Paul was also a man of godly purpose. He lived to exalt Christ and to know Him.  At the end of his life, as he faced execution, Paul knew that he had … (2 Timothy 4:7)
 
 
  c)

4. What did Paul know would be his reward, for making every moment count in serving His Lord and Savior?
 

5. Read Ephesians 5:16 again, and then read Colossians 4:5.
  a) What phrase is the same in both verses?
   
  b) The Greek word for “time” in these verses is kairos.  That isn’t referring to time as in, “What time is it?”  It speaks of a point in time that is eventually going to slip away.  For example, it could be used to refer to “harvest time.”  Kairos is the time where you'd better get moving. Those crops aren’t going to harvest themselves. It is the appointed time, the proper time, the slice of time where you have an opportunity – but that kairos is going to eventually slip away.

Why did Paul say we are to make the most of every minute?
   

6. To redeem the time, we must know what God wants us to be and how to get there.  What are some ways we can use our time for His glory? (Thought questions – answers will vary.)
 
 
  c)

7. How would you counsel a person who thinks they have all the time in the world, who has problems with time management, who wastes time, and always promises to “git’er done tomorrow?
 

Continue to Chapter 20

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