Procrastination. Webster’s dictionary defines procrastination as: “To put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” I like to joke that I was a procrastinator long before I became a Presbyterian and have not fully converted yet.
My wife doesn’t like making decisions and generally tries putting it off. Heck, I had to ask about a hundred times just to get her to marry me.
There is something to be said for getting the facts, weighing all the alternatives, and not making hasty decisions. But, then you run the risk of missing the boat. The old “opportunity knocked, got no answer, and moved on” thing.
One characteristic of people who are trying to avoid making a decision is the complicated scenarios they generate to justify their indecision. The story told in Luke 20:27-38 is a good case in point.
The story starts in verses 27-38. It says, “Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.’”
This is a long, convoluted story – a woman and seven brothers. By the end of the story the brothers have all died off, and at one time or another, she was married to each of them.
It is worth remembering and noting that for the most part the brothers married her out of a sense of duty and following the law. The story continues, and we get to the point of it all in verse 33.
“Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” the Sadducees asked.
Well, on the surface that is not an altogether bad question. I have some friends, both were married to other people, in both cases the spouse died, and in due course the two fell in love and got married. But you see the thing is, they were not asking because they cared about the woman in the story. Nor did they particularly care about the answer — they were trying to set a trap for Jesus. Just to put things in perspective, this happened right after someone else had asked Jesus about paying taxes.
So having said that, did you notice? The Sadducees were asking Jesus a question about things that will happen (or how things will be) in the resurrection. But you see that is the thing about the Sadducees — they don’t believe there will be a resurrection.
They are asking all these silly questions in an attempt to 1) put off making a decision or in the alternative 2) to justify the (wrong) decision that they have already made.
So stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses. The call has gone out — there is a choice to be made. We can continue doing things our way — or choose to follow God.
John R. Fowler. John is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Prosper.