ODJ: thief of time

November 17, 2013 

READ: Luke 9:57-62 

Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say goodbye to my family (v.61).

Maneesh Sethi hired a woman to sit at his computer and watch him as he worked. Armedwith a list of his tasks, her job was to slap him if he tried to put off working by checking Facebook or scanning other websites. Later he employed a tall Swedish man to do the same job—that guy hit a bit harder, according to Maneesh. Oddly this rather extreme measure worked. Maneesh claims that his ‘slappers’ helped him become 98 percent more productive by preventing procrastination during his workday.

It’s important to be productive in whatever job God has given us. Paul wrote, “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically” (Romans 12:11). But we should also be diligent in our work for His kingdom. Jesus said, “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work” (John 9:4).

Someone described procrastination as “the thief of time”, and this seems to fit with the sense of urgency Jesus wanted His followers to adopt. Once Jesus invited a man to follow Him, saying, “Come, follow Me.” But the man said, “First let me return home and bury my father” (Luke 9:59). Jesus replied, “Your duty is to go and preach about the kingdom of God” (v.60). Then another man said, “I will follow you, but first let me say goodbye to my family” (v.61). Jesus, who sees past our excuses, replied: “Anyone who puts a hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God” (v.62).

God has called each of us to use our spiritual gifts to serve Him. If He’s tapping you on the shoulder today, asking, “When will you serve Me?” don’t put it off. Let Him know that you’re available—first time. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read Ecclesiastes 12:1-3 to see why it’s best to serve God now instead of later. Look up Acts 24:22-27 to see what happened when Felix put off making a decision. 
What steps could you take this week to build God’s kingdom? How might God want you to change patterns of procrastination in your life?