Which is It?
Several years ago I saw a sign in a church secretary’s office that read: Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. I have to say, it bothered me. It seemed rather terse and unkind. Was it a joke or a policy? I had no idea. By the next day, I had forgotten all about it. Until last week when my husband shared a situation at work. Someone hadn’t done what they were supposed to do in the time-frame required, so it became his problem. I pulled out that little saying as a way of standing up for my husband and against the person who procrastinated. It seemed to fit the situation in a positive, or at least accurate, way.
So which is it? An adage that is harsh and unwelcoming or a motto to protect an individual from unnecessary headaches? I guess it can be both, depending on which side of it you fall. And I found a few Scriptures to back that up.
Romans 12:18 says, If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (ESV). Displaying a placard with that saying in our office may lead to a less than peaceful atmosphere. Yet allowing what I put off to hinder or burden someone else can also cause distress.
In Roman 12:10, we see a wonderful yet difficult principle to live by: Honor one another above yourselves (NIV). If we’re really trying to do this, we wouldn’t have that adage on our desk. It should also allow us to realize that procrastinating doesn’t only harm us, which can help us stay on top of our responsibilities.
Finally, in Luke 6:31, Jesus tells us this: Do to others as you would have them do to you (NIV). I didn’t and wouldn’t like seeing that sign and also wouldn’t be happy about someone’s poor time management making my job more difficult.
I guess both my first and second reactions to the adage were right. It’s probably not something we want to display, yet it can be a reminder to us to do what we should when we should do it.
Something odd but hopefully relevant I’ve been thinking about along the way.