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Sermon Outline

Prepared by

Dr. Joseph P. Metoyer, Jr., Pastor/Teacher

June 1, 2003

Text: 1John 4:18

Subject: Why Do Christians Procrastinate?

Introduction: There are dozens of fears that can immobilize you and cause you to procrastinate. What do you do if a fear brings you to a screeching halt? The most effective way to strip these ghosts of the power they hold over you is to look them squarely in the face. Identify them. Put a name to them. The better you know them and the more clearly you see them, the less frightening they will seem.

I. Fear Knows No Love (V. 18)

"Fear" is the fuel that drives the engine of procrastination. The Scriptural word for "fear" is Φόβοѕ, from which we get our English word phobia. There are dozens of fears that can immobilize you and cause you to procrastinate.

A. Fear of Imperfection… You may not think of yourself as a perfectionist, but do you put off things until the time or mood or conditions are just right? People wait until they are in the right mood, have the ideal amount of time, the best conditions… and unless all those "perfect" factors come together, decisions, actions, beginnings, endings, moves, purchases, relationships, careers, and lives are put on hold. A perfectionist puts off setting a Doctor’s appointment, not because of fear of bad health but of fear that an appointment for a month from now may interfere with an important meeting.

B. Fear of the Unknown… Sometimes the known circumstances are horrible, painful, and frightening, but still they are more comfortable to handle than the terrors of the unknown. Some people put off leaving abusive relationships or destructive, negative jobs because they’d rather endure the misery of "what is" than face the terror of "what might be". Being controlled by others is a safe prison. We know where all the rooms are.

C. Fear of Judgment… This "Procrastinator" often use phrases like: What will the neighbors say? Or what will people think? Many people will postpone worthy goals indefinitely simply because they don’t want to run the risk of feeling embarrassed of being labeled lazy, stupid, foolish, or idealistic.

D. Fear of Making Mistakes… This fear inhibits many people. They don’t realize that mistakes can teach us important lessons. Mistakes teach us that there has to be another way to do something.

E. Fear of Success… This fear is one of the more subtle causes of procrastination. Some people think success means you are self-serving, shallow, materialistic, snobbish, and so on. Others believe that succeeding sets up expectations that you must continue to succeed more and more-or must succeed at everything you do. If you suspect that by procrastinating you are sabotaging your success, ask yourself, ‘What would happen if…?’

F. Other fears or Phobias people experience which cause procrastination include: Fear of having to live up to a high standard, fear of change, fear of too much responsibility, fear of feelings, fear of finishing, fear of being rejected, and fear of making the wrong decision.

Fear drives us to the point of procrastination. Ask yourself, what am I running from that I cannot start or complete a given project? Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion." What are you, wicked or righteous?

 

II. Fear Cannot Stand Against "Perfect Love" (V. 18)

The Bible uses the word, "Perfect" to describe a type of "Love". This word, "Perfect", means something that is fully mature, or complete. In other words, when "perfect love" shows up fear checks out. This love is "Agape". It is God’s love. This love is not selfish love but it is God’s love, it comes from God. 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

A. God is not looking for perfection in us, just excellence. Carpenters have a statement they make when they make a mistake. "It is not a Grand Piano but it works". Ephes. 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephes. 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind. Ephes. 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us… The love of God is complete and it is mature and it has no fear in it… "Perfect Love THROWS off fear".

III. Fear Involves Torment (V. 18)

"Torment" is the Greek word, "Ќολασις”, meaning when “fear” is in our lives there is room for correction, or even punishment and its use has a reference to the satisfaction of him who inflicts the fear. You use to go the Magic Mountain and pay your money and get in a long line and get on "Collasis", a roller coaster, and look forward to the punishment you would bring on yourself. Some people look forward to procrastinating because they enjoy the punishment; they even gain a sense of accomplishment because they are familiar with feeling of not starting or completing the tasks.

A. The only one who fears, is the one not made perfect in love. Proverbs 4:23-27 "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. 24Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. 25Let your eyes look straight ahead,

And your eyelids look right before you. 26Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. 27Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil."

Application: The story of David and Goliath… (1 Samuel 17:32ff)…

 

 

 

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