Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts on Boredom

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.  -- Proverbs 12:24

The dictionary defines the word bored as:

-verb (used with object)
1. to weary by dullness, tedious repetition, unwelcome attentions, etc.

2. a dull, tiresome, or uncongenial person.
3. a cause of ennui or petty annoyance: repetitious tasks that are a bore to do.

It seems like such a simple and innocent thing.   Everyone falls into this state of mind at times and it doesn't seem like it could ever really do a person any harm. When you are bored it means your brain is lacking stimulation and you need to do something that will stimulate the brain.   However if you find yourself in a place where you are repeatedly bored every day, "weary of dullness" and finding that nothing in life seems to amuse you or give you joy, that is when problems with boredom begin to arise. Especially if you are a Christian. You become engulfed in yourself, God is no longer the center of your life, and your goal is simply to please yourself and if you cannot find what you are looking for, if you stay wrapped up in yourself and your lack of productivity, it can often lead to depression.

Pro 31:27 - She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

When I was a growing up I would often say to my Mom that I was bored. When I'd get tired of doing the same things all the time I'd complain that there was nothing to do. She always told me, "Don't be bored. There is always something to do." or she'd say, "There is no reason for you to be bored." That is true, there is always something to do, and often times there are tons of things to do. The problem is that many of those things can often seem tedious but nevertheless, they are productive things. My Mom taught me that , "when you are "bored" all the time, it is because you are choosing to be that way." Boredom is a self-centered, idle, and slothful state to be in. It is to say that your life at the moment is dull and there is nothing that can satisfy your need for amusement.

Ever since I was about 18 years old, I have made a conscious effort to never say, "I'm bored." And if I catch myself even thinking it, I always remind myself that by being bored I am only thinking of myself and ignoring the many life-enriching and beneficial things that I could be doing.  It isn't the word itself that is the problem, it is the attitude associated with it. Many things in life can be boring, but in times of boredom does it make it right to submit to laziness, idleness, and discontentment?

I have known people that have complained of boredom nearly every day.  They spend much of their time lacking in productivity and then they wonder why they are not making any progress.
Pro 12:11 - Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time.

As Christians we should strive to glorify the Lord in all that we do.  God is not glorified through idleness.  The Lord has provided us with a certain number of days on this earth and no time should be wasted. We also need to be sure that we are grateful for the innumerable amount of blessings God has granted us.  Each day is a gift and we should live it as if it were our last.
Psa 118:24 - This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Here are some things to do if you are struggling with boredom.

  1. Pray!  There is nothing greater than having the opportunity to spend time with the Creator of the Universe! He will you with the wisdom needed t

  2. 1Th 5:16 Be joyful always! Remember that this is a day that the LORD has made; rejoice and be glad in it.

  3. Count your blessings! God has blessed you with a multitude of ways to glorify Him and to enjoy the life that He has provided you with. (1 Timothy 4:5)

  4. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.

  5. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. (1 Timothy 4:7-8)

  6. Read! If you have your Bible with you, spend time reading it. It can be hard at times; not knowing what to read or where to begin, but I can assure you that the more you spend time in it, the more you'll want to read it. The Bible is God's instructions for you, his letters to you, trust me when I say it is worth it to spend time in God's Word.   If you've already read the Bible in that day, read books that relate to your interests.

  7. Learn!  There is SO much to learn.  Make a list, a long list, of things you've always wanted to learn about and when you find yourself with "nothing to do", take some time to learn about one of those subjects.

  8. Think! If you have nothing else, you have your mind. Think of ways to encourage and benefit others. Take some time to plan something special for someone, or think about ways you can be productive when you get the chance.

  9. Teach! If you have kids, find a fun and educational activity that allows you to use your mind and benefit your children with your knowledge.

  10. Whatever you do - do not allow yourself to succumb to the idea of "boredom".   If you find yourself with too much spare time on your hands, get involved in a ministry or a charity.  Start a blog if you enjoy writing or join a book club if you enjoy reading.   There are so many wonderful things to do, don't waste your life on being bored.

1 comment:

Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...