I ran across an article about procrastination on the blog A Holy Experience. The article is written by John Bloom, president of the Desiring God blog (of which I am not a fan). The article on procrastination didn’t specifically use the word holy to describe why procrastination is bad, but the implication is there. Below is a snippet from the piece:
What do you not feel like doing today?
You know what I mean. It’s that nagging thing weighing on you.
You know you should do it.
If you did it, it would honor God because it obeys his law of love (John 15:12), or it’s a work of faith (2 Thessalonians 1:11), or it puts “to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13).
You know it would be good for your soul or your body or your family or your vocation or your neighbor or your church.
But you don’t feel like doing it.
You know that God promises you more blessing if you do it than if you don’t.
But you’re struggling to believe that promise because it feels difficult.
(I should mention that this blog post is accompanied by pictures of things like cooking, practicing the piano, and reading the Bible.)
First of all, where in the Bible does God promise a blessing if we do the things we don’t want to do? Secondly, let’s take a look at the verses used to support the argument that doing what you don’t want to do would bring honor to God:
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
2 Thessalonians 1:11
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Hmmm. Okay let me see if I’ve got this right…
If I don’t do tasks that I don’t feel like doing I don’t love others and I am not worthy of God’s calling. The things I don’t want to do are actually my true desire prompted by faith. Additionally, the things I think I want to do are, in reality, sin.
Did I piece that together correctly? Or are these verses taken completely out of context?
Why do we assume that everything in our lives that is not holy is sin? Or that our lives have to be a holy experience in the first place? And better yet, what IS a holy experience? If you’re a Christian, didn’t Christ already make you holy and new? You shouldn’t have to continue to perform tasks to make you holy.
When we start thinking like this it creates a need to measure everything in our lives on a holiness scale. Is watching Netflix with my husband a holy experience? What about playing a game or going shopping? Reading fiction? How about eating frozen lasagna for dinner? Does choosing not to fold the three baskets of laundry rank lower on the holiness scale than folding them now? Is listening to classical music holy? Reading my Bible? Unloading the dishwasher?
We have GOT to stop thinking about every little thing in our life as sin vs. not sin. Holy vs. not holy. Just live. Do things that make you happy (as long as they are safe, healthy, moral, and only occasionally indulgent). Do things that enrich your life. If folding laundry or cooking a homemade dinner is not on a list of things that you find fulfilling, it’s fine to live out of laundry baskets for a week or buy frozen lasagna (it’s darn good!).
God won’t bless you any more or less than if you had peeled some carrots to throw into a pot of soup.
There is nothing worse than trying to find joy in mundane tasks that you hate that someone else claims are higher on the holiness scale.
This whole concept is nothing but a foundation for legalism. It’s a structuring of rules and when we fail to follow through we think we have disappointed God.
God is not disappointed in us!