by Kenny Rader
Don’t Leave Home Without It
It’s the Real Thing
Diamonds Are Forever
Yes We Can
(At the end of my article, you can play a mix & match game of more slogans and who they represent.)
Do those slogans bring back memories? Whether you agree with the company, their product, or what they promoted, you have to admit these are some of the best slogans. My all-time favorite, however, is Nike’s: Just Do It.
Oh, how I wish I could adhere to that slogan. Take my tax preparation for example. When I farmed, I stayed on top of my bookwork (finances). I kept my books up-to-date because we needed to know our financial health. Plus, a lot of farming is physical work, so sitting at the computer for a day of bookwork was relaxing. It provided a respite from the physical labor and rested my weary body.
All that changed when I left the farm. While in college and seminary, I focused on my studies and work, but not on my bookwork. Even now, I still don't keep up with my financial records. I sit most of the day at work, so sitting at the desk at home is not appealing. Maybe that is the reason I had to scramble to get my taxes done this year – again.
Every year since I’ve left the farm, I’ve said that I will never wait until March to start working on my taxes, but every year, I wait. ARGH!!! I did it again this year, but this year was worse, because every time I planned to work on it, something came up. Well, I finally got it done, so here we go again saying, “I’ll never wait so long to start next year.”
I’ll do it later. I’ll do it tomorrow; by the end of the week; next week; the first chance I get; next month; next year; soon; sometime. Have you said these things? You and I often have good intentions. We often really do, but sometimes, we just don’t get around to doing what we need to do – or what we know we should do.
Sometimes we don’t think about the best action to take. It’s not that we avoid doing good; we just didn't know about it.
For example, my dad passed away of a sudden heart attack when he was sixty-nine. He was gone before he hit the floor. That sudden shock brought me to my senses that I never hugged my dad and told him, "I love you." We weren't a hugging family, but Dad's passing changed all that. Our whole family took action. From that point on, when leaving Mom, we hugged and I told her that I loved her. I wasn't going to have another family member pass without letting them know that I love them. I started hugging my kids more. I started hugging my brothers and sisters-in-law. Although I’m still not a ‘huggie’ guy, I believe in hugging family and close friends and telling them that I love them.
Ephesians 4:26 tells us,
26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
- Ephesians 4:26-28 (NIV)
While this verse focuses on resolving anger and disputes, it carries much broader teaching. It means that we are to address differences the very day they become an issue. Resolve them. But this verse also says that we are not to wait to do something we know we should do. Do you want more proof from the Bible?
17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
-James 4:17 (NIV)
10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.
-Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV)
These three verses all say the same thing: don't put off until tomorrow what you know you should do today. Of course, we are talking about people relationships. Do you remember our Fruit of the Spirit sermon series that we just finished? Galatians 5:22-23? God’s Spirit living in us takes action on our part. God’s Spirit wants us not to wait to do what we need to get done today. Don’t wait.
Sometimes we call it procrastination and sometimes it’s negligence. Maybe not always intentional, but it is carelessness. It’s inattention on each of our part to do what we ought to do. From neglecting something like tax preparation to not showing appreciation for another person, we need to take action and stop putting it off. Consider this your wakeup call. Most of us have some task or some action we need to do. What's yours? Is there someone in your life that you appreciate, yet you never thanked them? Maybe a Sunday school teacher? A school teacher from long ago that is still living? A parent? A sibling? Perhaps you need to make a phone call to that long-distance person with whom you've had a disagreement?
I’m not the best homemaker, and sometimes I look at the mess in my house and think, “Wow, I sure hope I don’t die tonight. The kids will have a mess to clean up.” But what about my spiritual house: the life I live here on earth? You and I might live several more decades, but we may not live to see tomorrow. Is your house in order?
Is there anything in your life that needs cleaned up? Whether it's a task you've meant to do or a relationship that needs attention, do it. Don’t leave any relational fracture go another day. Get it done. Stop dreading it. Now that we've drawn your attention to it – JUST DO IT!
Love you & God Bless,