Spiritual procrastination

Ben Reed —  April 13, 2011 — 36 Comments

The most dangerous word for your spiritual growth is “tomorrow.”

image by Jeff Boriss

I’ll share my faith with my friend…tomorrow.

I’ll start praying more regularly…tomorrow.

I’ll start reading my Bible…tomorrow.

I know God want me to _____, so I will…tomorrow.

I’ll start treating my wife with respect…tomorrow.

I’ll become a better parent…starting tomorrow.

I’ll quit doing ______…tomorrow.

I’ll choose to forgive…tomorrow.

I’ll choose joy, not anger…tomorrow.

I’ll choose to serve…tomorrow.

I’ll take charge of my spiritual growth…tomorrow.

Stop. Saying. Tomorrow.

Today is the day.

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. – James 4:13-14

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • RSS

Ben Reed

Posts Twitter Facebook

Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.
  • http://jonathanpearson.net/ Jonathan Pearson

    I’m gonna do it… TODAY. I make these statements too often.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Me too, bro.

  • http://faithoverflow.blogspot.com Nikki Eidson

    I’m glad I decided to read this post today … and not tomorrow, like i planned ;)

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Ha!

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Great post! This is all very true!

  • http://pinnaclebalance.com Steve

    Ben, As silly as I could be with this article, I realized right before I posted the comment this is a serious problem. Thanks for the reminder, I’ll make a joke on another post.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Thanks for going serious on us, Steve…but a good laugh is always appreciated!

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J. Alicea

    I would have commented yesterday but I said I would wait until tomorrow. :)

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Ha! That’s hilarious, Tony!

  • Tihut

    That is true, brother. As Jesus in John 9:4 noted, “I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. for the night cometh when no man can work.”

    God bless
    Tihut

  • Anonymous

    Silly rituals performed by the weak minded who are too ignorant to realize that their minds have been enslaved by this infection known as “faith”.

    It’s sad to see humans walking around so utterly mentally damaged to the points their minds would actually accept this garbage.

    And even worse.. So manipulated that you’ve actually developed, collectively, the most profound and utterly destructive case of Stockholm Syndrome the world has ever seen, as you truely love, honor, respect and obey your captors.

    When ever I have my doubts as to the survival of the human race..
    Looking to the World’s religious population does nothing to ease my mind.

    Sometimes I just think to myself… Bring on the Asteroid.
    Perhaps in another few hundred million years when the next species of dominate creatures evolves on this planet.. Hopefully they will have learned early enough to seek actual answers to their questions, rather than invent a God and use it as an explanation.

    You are truly a disappointment.. Every last one of you.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      AtWas911,
      I’m sorry to see you’ve been burned by the Christian community.  It shouldn’t have been like that.  Sorry we’ve not shown you more love.

      • Anonymous

        You are absolutely correct. It shouldn’t have been.

        But at least one thing I can say for your kind.. You’ve made progress.

        It wasn’t that long ago you were quite literally “burning” people..
        At least now the scars are only psychological.

        You could be an inspiration to the Muslim community..

        Teach them to not to physically kill people..
        But to do as the Christians do..
        Persecute and torture them psychologically until they kill themselves…

        • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

          You’ve gotten a picture of the Christian community that is very much not Christian.  

          Christian community is full of grace, love, peace, and truth.  Not full of us persecuting and torturing ourselves and others.  That’s not who we are or what we’re about.

          Again, I’m sorry your experience hasn’t been one of hope and grace.  I hope you’ll give us another shot.

          • Anonymous

            I appreciate the extended hand..

            But I’ve already eaten from the tree of knowledge and thus my eyes have been opened.
            I could can never go back to the way they I once was.

            I’ve grown too accustomed to being free of my shackles.

            For what it’s worth.. I offer you the same extended hand..

            You too have a chance for salvation. Not for your Soul.. But for your Mind..

            I have no means of coercion.. No magic tricks, or granting of wishes, or the the promise of rewards in a coming life that I could never verify that i’ve given or even threats of eternal torture if you refuse..

            But that hand is extended none the less.

            No matter the outcome, you shall always be a brother in humanity..
            Even if not one in logic.

          • Joefitness88

            I hope you have peace and salvation on your path now. However I have a question about that path. You offer a hand with no broken promises to be fee, but free of what. It is quite obvious you follow no religious path and Jesus will over look that if you’ve been right by your fellow man. But you also wish the next stage of humanity learns from us. So to what do we need to be free from? Christians will be there for you and I am also sorry for your experience. But you must ask yourself, to what the source of your religious dislike stems from.

          • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

            That’s a good word, Joe.  Thanks for asking some hard questions.

          • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

            Free from the baggage of an out-dated set of rules, perhaps?

            Free from guilt when having sex, using contraceptives, coveting?

            Free from fear that you’re going to hell, or that your child is.

            Free from the obligation to blather on about Jesus when people around you rather wish you didn’t.

            Free from constant supervision of a judgmental father-figure that will frown if you so much as think the wrong thought.

            Free from having to defend the horrors your god has visited on the world (according to the bible). What moral person defends genocide or human sacrifice anyhow?

            Free from subservience to your husband if you are a woman.

            Free from having beliefs that you can’t defend intellectually.

            But most of all, free from having to listen to Christian raps and pretend that it is cool.

            I realize that a Christian will probably say that they’d gladly pay this price to be a buddy of Jesus’, but you could be free of it. Being a Christian is not free and Christians are not free.

          • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

            If this life is all that there is, then Sutra, you’re absolutely right. But everything about our existence screams that this life is not all that there is. That we are destined for an eternal life. If this life is all there is, we should be pitied. If not, though, if there really is an eternity waiting for us, then we joyfully pursue Christ, and not pusue other things, for the sake of the coming reward of living for eternity in heaven.

            If you’re right, we all just simply die. If you’re wrong, then those who follow Christ are the only ones who are truly living.

          • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

            Is your life so terrible that you can only look forward to death? Is a lifetime not good enough for you?

            Wishful thinking does not change reality, and even though the idea of living forever might be nice, there is not good reason to believe it is so.

            Religions promising rewards *after death* is such an obvious scam that I feel sorry for people that buy into it.

            Just listen to yourself: your religion has you convinced that you’re not good enough, that life is not good enough and that only blindly accepting dogma and dying is the way to go.

            By the way, could I borrow a large sum of money from you? I promise I will pay it back after we’re both dead.

  • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

    Sure, share your faith once (if you don’t mind being awkward), but stop there.

    The thing is: your friend has heard about “the good news” and I can bet you my cat that unless your friend isn’t very bright, your very best argument is a very bad one (feel free to prove me wrong, though).

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Sutra,
      You’re on to something there. The very best arguments still won’t convince someone of the Truth. Only God can do that.

      • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

        Too bad he stopped talking to people via bushes then. Now he just seems to appear in the heart of believers. Just like other gods appear to their believers where no one else can hear or see.

        Since he’s staying conveniently invisible shows us that Yahweh isn’t very bright.

        • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

          Sutra,
          I believe He’s made Himself readily apparent throughout the world and throughout history through a variety of means. It just takes a step of faith to see Him.

          • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

            That’s what I just said, isn’t it?

            Just as much evidence and variety of means as other gods. You don’t have faith in them so you don’t believe in them.

            That’s how we know it’s bad evidence, and that your god (and all the others) are equally bad at communicating.

            No intelligent person would choose to make the main means of communication 2000 year old hearsay that’s been translated and tampered with. I’m sure you agree that it’s either stupid or inefficient.

            Faith is only important to those that have nothing to show in the way of evidence after 3000 years of religion.

          • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

            ‘Faith is only important to those that have nothing in the way of evidence…’ I disagree with you here. I have mountains of evidence in the form of changed lives…mine included. God is speaking clearly even today, to those willing to hear. But to those not willing to hear, not willing to search and find God, this all appears foolish.

            Have you been burned by the church in the past? Just curious.

          • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

            You can’t count that as evidence, as all religions make claims of changing lives. Your argument is both weak and faulty.

            No, I’ve had quite a good relationship with the churches I’ve been in contact with. Just because I want to have a discussion doesn’t mean that I hate churches or have been molested by priests.

            Why would you ask that?

          • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

            I ask because, unfortunately, religion has burned many people, and turned them away from the God they’re trying to proclaim.  Didn’t mean to bunch you in that camp.  My bad.

            My argument isn’t necessarily weak.  If wish you could hear the stories I’ve heard, and lived the life I’ve lived, seeing changes in myself and in others.  It’s amazing, really.

            I’m glad you’re willing to have a discussion.  Keep an open mind, Sutra.  Keep searching.  Keep asking hard questions.

          • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

            If stories and anecdotes were indeed all it took to convince you, you’d believe in all religions and conspiracy theories out there.

            You are biased towards your current religion which, again, makes it a bad argument.

            I could in theory present you with someone that’s been abducted by a UFO. A first-hand witness! Surely he has no reason to lie as he faces ridicule for his beliefs?

            I think I understand why you’ve picked the religion you’re currently in (you were probably raised into it), but I don’t see how you can justify your choice except by easily explained hearsay.

  • Dmstephenson13

    This is hilarious! Sutra Stevens is nothing but a sophist. You fail to realize that all human beings hold presuppositions.  Kant squashed the idea of being able to prove the non-existence or existence of a transcendent God with his critiques on reason. And that was nearly two hundred years ago. Furthermore, it is literally impossible for anyone to truly comprehend another persons subjective experience. With that being said, Sutra Stevens’  belief that there is no god is just as logically justifiable as Ben Reed’s belief in God; in that all individuals are actually utilizing a “faith” with every concept, thought, idea which goes through your head.  This is what it is to have a worldview, we are constantly operating on presuppositions and ideas which are pre-theoretical. 
    Sutra Stevens, if you want to beat up on Christianity, talk to Apologists, Theologians, and Philosophers not Pastors, defending the Faith is not their job.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom! (though I have to disagree with you slightly…I do think it’s the pastor’s job, as well as apologists, to defend the faith. :) )

  • Pingback: Spiritual procrastination | Life and Theology | Christians Following Jesus

  • Pingback: Get your inheritance « Ed's Slipper

  • Owen

    Here, common sense rebuttals to you nonsense statements.
    1- I’ll share my faith with my friend- If he/she asks about it
    2-I’ll start praying more regularly- When you start studying my beliefs
    3-I’ll start reading my bible- Actually I’ve finished it, and aside from being riddled with plot holes and 1 dimensional characters, it is very poorly written
    4-I know God wants me to ___ so- You know you’ve never met this sky daddy so how can you say you know what an invisible entity wants for you?
    5-I’ll start treating my wife with respect- Really? You need an archaic dogma to tell you to be good to the one person who you will love more than anything? That is disgusting. Why should she respect you? 
    6-I’ll become a better parent starting with- Not forcing my biased beliefs on them and letting them decide for themselves. If your creator is truly all-powerful than he doesn’t need your help to brainwash your kids.
    7-I’ll quit doing___- When it’s right for me 
    8-I’ll choose to forgive- If I choose to forgive
    9-I’ll choose joy not anger- No I won’t. I’ll feel whatever emotion is pertinent to the situation
    10-I’ll choose to serve- Only if I become a waiter
    11-I’ll take charge of my spiritual growth- Have been since day one

     

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Thanks for your thoughtful responses, Owen. 

      Seems like you’ve been hurt by the Church in the past. Sorry to see we let you down.

      I hope you’ll give us another shot in the near future.

  • Pingback: 10 ways stripping wallpaper is like getting rid of sin « Ed's Slipper