A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

There is a proverb that says, 'a stitch in time saves nine'.  It means that it is better to act on or deal with problems immediately, because if you wait and deal with them later, things will get worse and the problems will take longer to deal with.  That is what the Cambridge Dictionary says.

Here are some other phrases that describe what 'a stitch in time saves nine' means:

  • Sort out problems that arise immediately and it will save you a lot of extra work later.
  • Sew one stitch now, so you won't have to sew nine stitches later.
  • A little effort expended sooner to fix a small problem prevents it from becoming a larger problem requiring more effort to fix later. 
  • A little preparation can eliminate the need for repairs later.
  • If you sort out a problem immediately it may save extra work later.
  • It is better to deal with problems immediately rather than later as things will worsen and take longer to amend.
  • If you fix a small problem right away, it will not become a bigger problem later. Let's patch the roof before that hole gets bigger.
What did Jesus say and what does the Bible say on this topic?

Jesus said,

"Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."
-Matthew 6:34

Jesus was saying to deal with what is happening in the present.

The Biblical issue or topic that the proverb, 'a stitch in time saves nine', addresses is diligence:
  • The diligent hand will rule, but laziness will lead to forced labor. (Prov. 12:24)
  • The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing. (Prov. 20:4)
  • A slacker's craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work. He is filled with craving all day long, but the righteous give and don't hold back.(Prov. 21:25-26)
  • I went by the field of a slacker and by the vineyard of a man lacking sense. Thistles had come up everywhere, weeds covered the ground, and the stone wall was ruined. I saw, and took it to heart; I looked, and received instruction: a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit. (Prov. 24:30-34)
The Bible is pro-work.  There is no retirement in the Bible.  All of life is work.  Work should be enjoyable is also what the Bible says.

The richest years of your life are meant to be your grey hair years.  That is when you get to spend your most valuable time working for others, helping others and mentoring others.

The proverb, 'a stitch in time save nine', is about not procrastinating.  Many little things add up to a great life.  Those who don't do the little things never do the big things.

Millionaires or Billionaires are people who have done the small things well, usually.

Here are a few quotes on time:

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.“

— Stephen Covey

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.“

— Mike Murdock

“The best thing to spend on your children is your time.“

— Louise Hart

“How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever.“

— David Norris

“Time invested in improving ourselves cuts down on time wasted in disapproving of others.“

– Unknown

“Time spent in getting even would be better spent in getting ahead.“

– Unknown

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”

— Thomas Edison

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.“

— Laertius Diogenes

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.“

— Carl Sandburg

“The supply of time is a daily miracle. You wake up in the morning and lo! Your purse is magnificently filled with 24 hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of life. It is yours! The most precious of your possessions.“

— Arnold Bennet

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.