by Nick Bishop
Im, sure there are times when we have all experienced boredom. We can be left feeling empty, isolated and in the most extreme cases, it can lead to various types of mental illness.
Boredom can happen when we have plenty of time on our hands or when we find another person’s interests mind-numbing! For example, some folk like sport, while others detest it. Some love gardening while others might be bored to death with a fork or a spade in the hand! What ‘floats our boat may not float another’s’. For a relationship to grow and remain healthy, we must all learn to compromise.
With most people being at home because of COVID-19, boredom (unless you are working from home or have things to do) may be setting in. Boredom can leave us feeling negative and disillusioned and can be ruinous to relationships.
Satan loves to exploit boredom because he knows the human mind may consider acts of evil or unrighteousness. Even for Christians, a wandering mind can lead to trouble, and before we know where we are, we have dug ourselves a hole, which sometimes, isn’t easy to get out of.
For example, many ancient sayings are often based on observed wisdom down the generations. For example, the old saying, ‘The devil will find work for idle hands to do’, highlights the human predicament.
Eric Geiger wrote some challenging words for us in his recent book, ‘How to Ruin Your Life’.
“Boredom is a sin because we are telling God that we are not looking at Him because we do not believe Him, at that moment, to be ultimately praiseworthy of our attention and affection. Our boredom says “God is not enough for us so we are looking for something else”. Though boredom may not lead to murder or adultery, it always indicates a dethroning of God and an enthroning of something other than Him.
David’s implosion shows us that not only is boredom sin, but it also leads to other sins.
Take the example from the book of Proverbs in the Bible:
‘Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep and an idle person will suffer hunger’. Proverbs 19-15.
One way around boredom is to engage with the other, obviously, social distancing hinders this to some extent but, with social media and the internet, we needn’t be cut off from family, friends and work colleagues. Of course, there are still telephones/mobile phones and other methods of communication. Currently, we are still allowed to go shopping and exercise outside, as long as we observe the safety rules when speaking to others.
In the house or in the garden (if you have one) there will always be things to do, and if you have pets, they will always need walking or looking after.
For families, try to spend quality time with your wife or husband and your children now. When the COVID-19 crisis is over (God willing it will be), you will have a greater appreciation for each other when our lives return to some normality.
Christians can be an example of how to overcome boredom and negativity. We can become beacons of hope and light to individuals and the community. As individuals, churches or Christian organisations, we must all do what we can for the greater good of all, in this time of lockdown.
Heres another interesting thought taken from Eric Gieger’s book:
“When our hearts are not filled with wonder for God, we wander from Him, which is why true boredom is a sin. If we are bored we are looking for something other than God because God never bores. Boredom is proof our hearts have wandered from Him and are not resting in the only One who can give us rest”.
Here are some wise scriptures on the subject of boredom:
1 Tim 6:6: “Besides that they learn to be idlers, going from house to house, and not only idlers but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not”.
1 Tim 6:7-8: “For we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take out of the world”.
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