Don’t Put It Off; Do It Now!
HAVE we not all, at one time or another, made personal resolves to do something nice for someone we love very dearly? We promise ourselves that we are going to express our love and appreciation for that person, be it a friend, a marriage mate or our parents. We may plan to express our sentiments by means of a gift, a note, a verbal expression or some kind gesture. Yes, we want our loved one to know how much he means to us, how much we appreciate what he has done or is doing for us.
Such personal resolves are noble, for they reflect an unselfish frame of mind. However, it is one thing to make a personal resolve to do something and quite another to carry it out. This is because we may let other things cause us to keep putting it off. Unless we promptly carry it out while the desire is burning brightly in our hearts, we may find that we will be continually postponing it. This usually leads to our forgetting about our good intention or giving up the whole idea.
To avoid failing in this regard, we need to recognize that the complexities of modern-day living make our forgetting a good intention an easy course to follow. Matters do come up unexpectedly, some of which demand our immediate attention. However, by not letting small matters dictate our course of action, we will more likely fulfill our good intentions, much to the joy of our loved ones and ourselves.
The Holy Bible offers wise counsel on this matter. It says: “Always pursue what is good toward one another and to all others.” (1 Thess. 5:15) Notice that there is a need to pursue the doing of good, at all times making it our aim. Such counsel is given because humans tend to let other things crowd out this most desirable quality. Yes, we need to guard against the habit of postponing the doing of good to our loved ones and friends.
Further, procrastination or the putting off of matters for another time is nourished by the tendency to take things for granted. How is this? Well, let us say that a married couple has been planning for some time to have their aged parents over for dinner. However, something is always coming up that causes them to keep postponing it. Are they not taking for granted that they and their aged parents will be here next week or next month? Surely, and what does the Bible say about this? “You do not know what your life will be tomorrow. For you are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing.” (Jas. 4:14) How true that is! None of us knows what the next day will give birth to, let alone the next week.—Prov. 27:1.
Husbands and wives also need to guard against the complacent feeling of taking each other for granted. Take advantage of the numerous opportunities to do thoughtful little things for your closest companion in life. Do not get into the habit of delaying the doing of good that you plan for that one. One husband was left to care for two children when his wife suddenly died. He confessed that he took her for granted and now he wants so much to have the opportunity to tell her how much she meant to him and how good she was. What a lesson we can draw from his experience! In view of the transient nature of life, we should do now what we resolve in our hearts and not put it off.
To avoid putting off what we plan, we also need to guard against hobbling ourselves with the idea that we must make an elaborate gesture to express our sentiments. This, too, contributes toward postponing the fulfillment of our loving desires. Yes, planning to make it extraordinary may defeat our purpose. How? When little things come up that do not require much to accomplish, we will find ourselves tackling these and postponing the more complicated resolve.
Today there are many persons who are plagued with remorse and regret. Among them are those who never appreciated what they had until they lost it. Others kept putting off carrying out their noble intentions so long that suddenly death took away the object of their planned attention. They are haunted by memories of what could have been but was not. While it is too late to do anything to correct the matter now, such ones can learn from their experience. Yes, they can make changes, resolving never to let it happen again. Rather than torment themselves over the past unfulfilled resolves, they can positively take advantage of the opportunities they now have to do good to their living loved ones. The lessons here apply to all of us. We should do the good that we plan to do now while we have the opportunity. True, there is the hope of the resurrection, but we do not have to wait until then.
One daughter wisely responded quickly to her noble desire, and she wrote to her parents, saying: “Dear Mom and Dad. The Watchtower study yesterday was good. It caused me to reflect once again on my childhood and to give thanks to Jehovah for such wonderful parents who brought me up in the discipline and authoritative advice of Jehovah. Thank you both so very much. I appreciate it more and more as I grow older.” What joy that brought to her parents! How loving and wise not to hold back from telling your dear parents the deep appreciation you have for what they have done for you! Why not let them know now how much you appreciate their love, devotion and sacrifices for you?
Not only for our own good but for our own self-respect we need to overcome the tendency to put off doing things, especially that which is beneficial and good. We will be encouraged to do this if we keep in mind what God’s Word says about this. “Do not hold back good from those to whom it is owing, when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do it.” (Prov. 3:27) Have you resolved to do something kind for someone? Do not put it off; do it now!