Tip of the Week

money1.jpgPay Now or Pay Later

That little phrase was used in the course of a conversation with my brother-in-law several years ago.   Our families were eating lunch together in Oklahoma City after helping our daughters move their belongings into the dorm at Oklahoma Christian University.  My brother-in-law and I were both aware of a situation in which something important was being neglected.  In the course of that conversation he said, "You know, you can either pay now or you pay later."

In other words, if you don’t deal with certain issues right now, they can have a way of coming back to haunt you.  You may choose to not deal with a certain issue in your life, but sooner or later you may have to deal with it.  Very often, some of these issues are even more intense and troublesome later on due to earlier neglect.

Some examples:

1.  As a student, you can keep up with the reading and the assignments for the course you are taking.  Or, you can do no reading throughout the course and then the night before the first test you can try to cram.  Not only are you not ready for the test, you haven’t even read the material.

2.  As a homeowner, you can take care of your home and do the maintenance that it periodically needs.  That might include painting, maintaining the yard, and repairing what is worn out or broken.  Or, you can just let your house go and then experience major problems one day when you attempt to resell.

3.  As a person, you can take care of your body.  You can exercise and watch your diet realizing that you are investing in your health.  Or, you can let yourself go.  You can eat whatever, never exercise, and in general just neglect your health.  Yet, one day that may might come back to haunt you with complications due to such neglect.

4.  As a parent, you can deal with your small children when they test you.  You can deal with their disobedience or disrespect at an early age.  Or, you can close your eyes, let it go and then attempt to deal with these same attitudes when they are fifteen or sixteen.  Only now, the issues are more intense and severe. 

Again, the principle is "Pay now or pay later."  The question is: "What is there in my life that I really need to deal with TODAY?"  What do I keep putting off?  What is small right now but could become larger if not dealt with?  Maybe this is a project you need to begin.  Maybe this is a phone call you need to make.  Maybe you just need to take step one.

As I begin my own week, I am thinking about these same issues.  Hope you’ve found this helpful. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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17 thoughts on “Tip of the Week

  1. Great question. I can think of several projects that I’ve put off (mainly house-related) that definitely need my attention. Thanks for the encouragement to get on the ball with them.

  2. So true! I spent the weekend organizing (and getting rid of) toys. Over a year of neglect, and our family room was out of control! So many times, I put “less important” things aside, and deal with the “urgent;” problem is, the “urgent” never seems to end, and things just get more and more out of hand. And the reminder of “pay now or pay later” as it applies to disciplining children really resonates with me. I remember days when my twins were two when I felt like all I did all day long was discipliine them. Now that they’re five, I’m beginning to see the fruit of those long days. (Especially when we’re playing with other kids and their Moms are amazed that my children listen. “How do you get them to obey you,” they ask, as if it’s a project to be tackled in a day.) Thank you for an insightful and encouraging post.

  3. I just reread my comments above, and it sounds kind of smug — as if children everywhere are ill behaved and mine listen perfectly. With five-year old twin boys, and a seven-month old baby, we’re all growing and learning constantly. Discipline in our household is an ongoing process. Just wanted to clarify in case someone reading has the misconception that I’ve got it all together. 😉

  4. I agree with Greg, you could have gone all day and not said that.  Yet, you know I needed that one the most!  Thanks brother.

  5. Thanks Robyn for both of your comments.  I was especially struck by your line regarding the mother’s comment "…as if its a project to be tackled in a day."  That line reminds me that so much of life can’t be tackled in a day.  ("I’ll do this and then move on.") but instead speaks of a lifestyle that must be lived out daily. 

  6. Your post inspired me enough that I wrote about it here  8-). BTW, I commented on your post "If you make the most of your life" yesterday but it never got published.  It might be in your spam folder.  I just want to let you know, because there might be others in there.

  7. Motu,Thanks for letting me know about your earlier comment.  You were right!  It was in the spam folder along with someone else’s.  Thanks for the suggestion.I will be reading your post. 

  8. You’re welcome Jim. On occasion, I will find comments in my spam blocker as well.  I had a feeling that is where it went, especially since I had a few links within my comment.  So now, I just double check before I erase my spam.  Glad I was able to help.