What does the bible say about procrastination? Procrastination in the bible is about learning to use your time wisely for a productive cause.
40 Scriptures About Procrastination In The Bible
1 Hebrews 3:8 (NIV)
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
(GNT)- do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God, as they were that day in the desert when they put him to the test.
2 Esther 5:8 (NIV)
If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”
(GNT)- “If Your Majesty is kind enough to grant my request, I would like you and Haman to be my guests tomorrow at another banquet that I will prepare for you. At that time I will tell you what I want.”
3 Psalms 119:60 (NIV)
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands
(TPT)-I give my all to follow your revelation-light; I will not delay to obey.
(MSG)-When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders.
4 Ecclesiastes 5:4 (NIV)
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
(MSG)-When you tell God you’ll do something, do it—now. God takes no pleasure in foolish drivel. Vow it, then do it. Far better not to vow in the first place than to vow and not pay up.
(AMP)When you make a vow or a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God takes no pleasure in fools [who thoughtlessly mock Him]. Pay what you vow.
5 Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
(GNT) Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.
(MSG) Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.
(TPT) Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed.
6 Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
(TPT) Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.
(MSG) We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.
7 Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
(MSG) Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.
(TPT)So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.
8 Proverbs 3:6 (NIV)
In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
(TPT) Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.
(MSG) Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
9 Proverbs 3:7 (NIV)
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
(MSG) Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!
(TPT) Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong.
10 Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(TPT) We cross the threshold of true knowledge when we live in obedient devotion to God. Stubborn know-it-alls will never stop to do this, for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge.
(MSG) Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
11 Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
(MSG) Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
(TPT) Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.
12 Exodus 8:10 (NIV)
“Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God.
(MSG) “Make it tomorrow.” Moses said, “Tomorrow it is—so you’ll realize that there is no God like our God. The frogs will be gone. You and your houses and your servants and your people, free of frogs. The only frogs left will be the ones in the Nile.”
13 Deuteronomy 23:21 (NIV)
If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.
(MSG) When you make a vow to God, your God, don’t put off keeping it; God, your God, expects you to keep it and if you don’t you’re guilty.
14 1 Kings 19:21 (NIV)
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
(MSG) So Elisha left; he took his yoke of oxen and butchered them. He made a fire with the plow and tackle and then boiled the meat—a true farewell meal for the family. Then he left and followed Elijah, becoming his right-hand man.
15 Proverbs 12:24 (NIV)
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.
(MSG) The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.
(TPT) If you want to reign in life, don’t sit on your hands. Instead, work hard at doing what’s right, for the slacker will end up working to make someone else succeed.
16 Jeremiah 13:16 (NIV)
Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to utter darkness and change it to deep gloom.
(MSG) Let your lives glow bright before God before he turns out the lights, Before you trip and fall on the dark mountain paths. The light you always took for granted will go out and the world will turn black.
17 Luke 9:59-62 (MSG)
He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
(TPT)Jesus then turned to another and said, “Come be my disciple.” He replied, “Someday I will, Lord, but allow me first to fulfill my duty as a good son and wait until my father passes away.” Jesus told him, “Don’t wait for your father’s burial. Let those who are already dead wait for death. As for you, go and proclaim everywhere that God’s kingdom has arrived.”
Still another said to him, “Lord, I want to follow you too. But first let me go home and say good-bye to my entire family.” Jesus responded, “Why do you keep looking back to your past and have second thoughts about following me? If you turn back you are not fit for God’s kingdom.”
18 Luke 13:25 (NIV)
Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
(MSG) Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’
(TPT) Once the head of the house has shut and locked the door, it will be too late. Even if you stand outside knocking, begging to enter, and saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us,’ he will say to you, ‘I don’t know who you are. You are not a part of my family.’
19 Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(TPT) “So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.
(MSG) Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
20 Psalms 95:7 (NIV)
For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,
(MSG) Oh yes, he’s our God, and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds. Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks:
(TPT) For we are those he cares for, and he is the God we worship. So drop everything else and listen to his voice! For this is what he’s saying: “Today, when I speak, don’t even think about turning a deaf ear to me.
21 Psalms 95:8 (NIV)
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
(TPT) Your ancestors challenged me over and over with their complaining, even though I had convinced them of my power and love. They still doubted my care for them.
(MSG) For forty years they watched me at work among them, as over and over they tried my patience. And I was provoked—oh, was I provoked! ‘Can’t they keep their minds on God for five minutes? Do they simply refuse to walk down my road?’ Exasperated, I exploded, ‘They’ll never get where they’re headed, never be able to sit down and rest.’”
22 Isaiah 55:6 (NIV)
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
(TPT) But how different it is for the righteous! The Lord embraces their paths as they move forward while the way of the wicked leads only to doom.
(MSG) Seek God while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand.
23 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
(TPT) For he says, I listened to you at the time of my favor. And the day when you needed salvation, I came to your aid. So can’t you see? Now is the time to respond to his favor! Now is the day of salvation!
(MSG) I heard your call in the nick of time; The day you needed me, I was there to help. Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing.
24 Genesis 19:16 (NIV)
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.
(MSG) Lot was dragging his feet. The men grabbed Lot’s arm, and the arms of his wife and daughters—God was so merciful to them!—and dragged them to safety outside the city. When they had them outside, Lot was told, “Now run for your life! Don’t look back! Don’t stop anywhere on the plain—run for the hills or you’ll be swept away.”
25 1 Kings 19:20-21 (NIV)
Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
(MSG) Elisha deserted the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please! Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye—then I’ll follow you.” “Go ahead,” said Elijah, “but, mind you, don’t forget what I’ve just done to you.” So Elisha left; he took his yoke of oxen and butchered them. He made a fire with the plow and tackle and then boiled the meat—a true farewell meal for the family. Then he left and followed Elijah, becoming his right-hand man.
26 Psalms 27:8 (NIV)
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
(MSG) Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!” When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking him!” Don’t hide from me now!
(TPT) I heard your voice in my heart say, “Come, seek my face;” my inner being responded, “Yahweh, I’m seeking your face with all my heart.”
27 Proverbs 13:4 (NIV)
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
(TPT) The slacker wants it all and ends up with nothing, but the hard worker ends up with all that he longed for.
(MSG) Indolence wants it all and gets nothing; the energetic have something to show for their lives.
28 Proverbs 20:4 (NIV)
Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
(MSG) A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall.
(TPT) If you’re too lazy to plant seed, it’s too bad when you have no harvest on which to feed.
29 Proverbs 27:1 (NIV)
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
(TPT) Never brag about the plans you have for tomorrow, for you don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring to you.
(MSG) Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
30 Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NIV)
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—
(MSG)Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, Before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
31 Matthew 5:25 (NIV)
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.
(TPT) It is always better to come to terms with the one who wants to sue you before you go to trial, or you may be found guilty by the judge, and he will hand you over to the officers, who will throw you into prison.
(MSG) “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.
32 1 Corinthians 14:40 (NIV)
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
(MSG)Three things, then, to sum this up: When you speak forth God’s truth, speak your heart out. Don’t tell people how they should or shouldn’t pray when they’re praying in tongues that you don’t understand. Be courteous and considerate in everything.
(TPT) doing all things in a beautiful and orderly way.
33 Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
(MSG) Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange For the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.
34 Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(MSG) So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.
(TPT) And don’t allow yourselves to be weary in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!
35 Hosea 10:12 (NIV)
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
(MSG) Sow righteousness, reap love. It’s time to till the ready earth, it’s time to dig in with God, Until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest.
36 John 9:4 (NIV)
As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
(MSG) We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over.
(TPT) While I am with you, it is daytime and we must do the works of God who sent me while the light shines. For there is coming a dark night when no one will be able to work.
37 Luke 12:35 (NIV)
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
(TPT) “Be prepared for action at a moment’s notice.
(MSG) “Keep your shirts on; keep the lights on! Be like house servants waiting for their master to come back from his honeymoon, awake and ready to open the door when he arrives and knocks.
38 Luke 12:40 (NIV)
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
(TPT) So keep being alert and ready at all times. For I promise you that the Son of Man will surprise you and appear when you don’t expect him.
(MSG) So don’t you be lazy and careless. Just when you don’t expect him, the Son of Man will show up.”
39 Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(MSG) Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
(TPT) I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.
40 Proverbs 24:30-34 (TPT)
One day I passed by the field of a lazy man, and I noticed the vineyards of a slacker. I observed nothing but thorns, weeds, and broken-down walls. So I considered their lack of wisdom,and I pondered the lessons I could learn from this: Professional work habits prevent poverty from becoming your permanent business partner. And: If you put off until tomorrow the work you could do today, tomorrow never seems to come.
(NIV)- I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
(MSG) One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones, and then passed the vineyard of a slob; They were overgrown with weeds, thick with thistles, all the fences broken down. I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened: “A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”