Habits can be good or bad. But if you can change this one habit, it may affect not only you, but literally thousands in your lifetime.
WHY PROCRASTINATION IS HARMFUL
Today, I’m talking about procrastination in the sense of trusting your memory to accomplish today what you should have preserved yesterday, or this morning, or an hour ago. Or as my husband loves to remind me when I plead forgetfulness: “Write it down!”
He’s so right. Writers are not the only ones who understand this deadly habit of procrastination. Not recording the thoughts, impressions, and ideas immediately God gives us, can leave us frustrated and empty. Waiting until later, depending on your age, may mean those ideas never return. 🙂
The same is true with journaling. The majority of the books I’ve written have found their roots in journaling: writing down daily happenings, spiritual insights, or personal prayers. Not only did those journals help supply material for books, devotionals, articles, and other writing projects through the years; they also helped me grow deeper in love with Jesus.
What to Record
Each day I read a passage in the Bible, I try to listen for God’s personal “rhema” to me–His written Word coming alive in my spirit and applied to my particular need that day–and then write it down. If there’s a promise, I record it. If something needs correction in my life, I note that. If there’s a prayer I can pray for another, I stop and pray. And if God shows me a blessing I’ve overlooked, I write down my thanks.
How the Bible speaks to each person is unique, but the “impressions” He gives you will not contradict the rest of His Word. When you have questions, write those down, too, for further study. Remember, God is a God of love, not hate. But He is a God who went to the extreme to prove His love to you and me, by sending His own Son to die for us. His recorded Word is an instruction book for life, written by the breath of His Spirit.
When I miss a day recording, I miss a blessing. Does it take time? Yes. But it’s worth it. If you don’t like the old-fashioned way with pen and notebook, then use your phone, and speak your notes into it. Or type it into your favorite technical device. With today’s technology, there are so many ways to record God’s impressions and lessons to us.
WHY PROCRASTINATION COULD AFFECT OTHERS
You never know when God has prepared someone else to hear the words you recorded after reading His Word–whether it’s an encouraging promise or a distinct warning. This has happened to my husband and me numerous times through the years. It might even be your children, your grandchildren, a friend, or a stranger you meet who need those words. Writing down those thoughts and impressions immediately (I’ve seen songwriters write on the back of restaurant napkins–and I used to grab a flashlight, pen, and notebook by my bed in the middle of the night) may help you recall more easily what could help that person. Your journaled thoughts might even end up in a book that could encourage hundreds or thousands.
And even if some of the words you write down are meant for yours and God’s ears alone, writing it down gives you a reference to go back and remember–all the ways God has worked in your life, and all the things He still wants to do through you. It will change you–and others may see those changes and want to know Him. What more could we ask?
DON’T PROCRASTINATE: WRITE IT DOWN
- Write down notes from sermons and Bible studies.
- Write down blessings God gives you.
- Write down your prayers and praises, God’s promises and commands.
- Write down new ideas God lays on your heart.
- Write down your failures–and your victories. (Others will benefit from both)
- Write down your personal “takeaways” from reading God’s Word daily in your own “quiet time.”
- Write down your prayer requests–and God’s answers.
Your marvelous doings are headline news; I could write a book full of the details of your greatness (Psalm 145:6, MSG).
And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run (Habakkuk 2:2, MSG).
What Does God Say about Writing It Down?
If you’re curious about that question, here’s a personal study challenge: See how many times you can find in the Bible where God told His servants, leaders, or followers to “write” something down, or record it. If faithful men hadn’t obeyed, we wouldn’t still be reading the world’s bestseller of all time today: the Bible. And we can’t even begin to count the number of lives that have been changed for the good.
My Personal Prayer for You
Lord Jesus, teach us to listen to your voice as we read Your words in Scripture. Whisper your impressions to our heart as we seek to hear you clearly, according to Your will. Help us not to give in to procrastination and lose the beauty You want to add to our own and others’ lives as we faithfully record Your words. Thank You for breathing Your words through faithful servants through the years so we could read them for ourselves in the Bible. Your Words are powerful, Lord. Never let us miss a single opportunity to learn, to grow, and to pass on the things you want to teach us.
It’s Your Turn
How do you conquer the habit of procrastination? Do you journal? What will you write down or record this week to help you grow closer to Jesus?