As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2, NLT)
The opening verses of 2 Corinthians 6 serve as a challenging conclusion to what Paul has mentioned in the previous chapter regarding the “ministry of reconciliation.” Quoting Isaiah 49:8, he creates a sense of urgency, appealing to his readers to respond.
Given the present crisis in his relationship with the Corinthians, Paul is concerned that some among their number might respond to the gospel in a way that will be unproductive. It is a word picture of an empty building, where the structure has been completed but remains unfurnished, void of any contents.
Clearly, the Corinthians had responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but had not taken any further steps in their progression of discipleship. Therefore Paul urged them to continue to live and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ without further delay.
I find his appeal to take action today to be helpful. In fact, these two verses were the verses I claimed personally for 2022. It’s easier to know what one should do than to actually do it, for the doing requires action. And one of the primary enemies of taking action is procrastination.
Undoubtedly, you recall the ten plagues that God enacted upon Egypt in the Book of Exodus as part of his deliverance of Israel from slavery. Of the ten plagues, the second plague of the frogs is most fascinating. As the story goes, God commanded frogs to infiltrate the land. Notice the dialogue between Moses and Pharaoh.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.” “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. (Exodus 8:10-12, NLT)
On one hand, the scene is absurd. Frogs have overrun the land, and are literally everywhere. Egyptian frogs are not like our American frogs. The Egyptians celebrated frogs as gods of fertility. We don’t want to miss the irony here, as God had blessed Israel with fertility right under Pharaoh’s nose. The Egyptians celebrated frogs as part of their pantheon of worship, but clearly this was a bit much.
Pharaoh looks ridiculous here. The land is covered with frogs and he desperately wants relief. Yet when offered the choice, he procrastinates. “Do it tomorrow.” Why would Pharaoh add another 24 hours to his suffering?
Perhaps its for the same reason we procrastinate, leaving our lives unfurnished and incomplete. Procrastination is always the path of least resistance, even when it is to our own detriment. Its one thing to put off the household chore or exercise plan. But when it comes to our spiritual lives and well being, the cost of procrastination grows exponentially.
What is one thing you have been putting off in your spiritual formation that you can take action on today?