Boredom can impact the Christian life in negative and positive ways. One thing we know about kids is they get bored. Usually, it is when they want to do something but cannot. For example, if their heart is set on going swimming but a thunderstorm rolls in, they will suddenly be bored. Wanting to play video games is another culprit. You could lay out a myriad of other options for them, but no matter how enticing they are, they will not suffice because it is not where there heart is. Cries of boredom will answer every suggestion.
I think we can apply this to the Christian life in two ways. Are you bored with the word of God, prayer, and corporate worship? If so, I realize there may be several factors involved, but we need to ask ourselves, is there something else I desire more than him right now?
If that is the case, whatever it is you long for more than God, it will fail to satisfy, and scripture will constantly remind you of that truth. If we bring our sinful desires before the Bible, one of two things will happen. Either we repent and push our sinfulness away, or we cling to it and push the Word of God away. If you desire something more than God, these are the only two choices. If you keep pursuing the world’s trinkets, the things of God will continue to lose their appeal.
Let us now reverse the scenario. How many of us have ever walked so closely with the Lord that we found our full satisfaction in him? A time when he was what we desired more than anything else. We longed to be in his word, spend time in prayer, and gather with the saints for worship. In this scenario, boredom still exists, but our boredom is with the things of the world.
A.W. Tozer used to write about the loneliness of the believer who finds his satisfaction in God. Such a person will often spend time with friends and family, even at church, and see them entirely caught up in the things of the world. When the conversation is always about sports, entertainment, and other things that pale in comparison to the glory of God, the believer can find themselves disillusioned and bored: even lonely.
This world is full of charms that pull at our sinful hearts. We will have to contend with these desires for the rest of our lives, but their power over us can be weakened. The way Christ calls us to move forward is to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him. In doing this, even when we are bored with the means of grace, we come to learn that Christ is our everything—our true satisfaction. Our cold hearts will be warmed. John Owen once said, “See in the meantime that your faith brings forth obedience, and God in due time will cause it to bring forth peace.” Often, feelings follow commitment; not the other way around.
This world is passing away, and that is easy to forget because sin is deceptive. It continually promises more than it can deliver. We must keep this truth at the forefront of our minds. If we do, the treasures of the world that pull our hearts away from God will begin to lose their charms, and the unshakable Rock of Christ Jesus will become our treasured refuge. Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.
Once we fix our hearts on Jesus, we may find that people who see Jesus as their treasure are few and far between. We will love to spend time with our Savior. We will look forward to it daily. We may realize that not many people are able to relate, and Tozer’s understanding of the believer’s loneliness may become a reality, but we will not be alone. Our God will be with us. We will also have a mission to fulfill. As we look around and see the people we love enchanted by treasures that will spoil, rust, and fade, our hearts will break, and we will work, in love, to point them to the Pearl of Great Price—Jesus Christ
2 thoughts on “Boredom, Self-Denial, and the Christian Life”
I visited the Mary Jane Homeless shelter and the leader there asked for crayons. Kids with nothing fidget with their hands because they have nothing to do.
There are a lot of things we can do. What happens to people before they become homeless? We buy clothes and throw them out. In other words, we spend our money clothes and throw them out when they are not in style for new clothes to meet our needs. I learned they sew old fabrics together to make blankets to keep warm. It would take a person a while to get back on their feet again. They need to be saving instead of being part of a disposable culture. A lady told me she had 23 pairs of eyeglasses and she had a house fire where she’s everything and she was walking around in the ashes and was able to find one pair of glasses and now she doesn’t throw anything away.
The homes shelter asked for old textbooks we don’t need to help people learn or get their G.E.D. or goto college.
Just recently I picked up a food box from a ministry and didn’t use it myself but gave to a family whose dad needs a heart transplant and they have six kids. I am sure they are on the equivalent of food stamps.
A woman was outside of the grocery store asking for anything to eat so I made her a grocery bag of apples, banana and water. If I see her again, I will tell her of the ministry that gives away free food.
I listen to verse by verse teaching in the car because I am bored from giving up the world and I learn a lot of things.
I am bored because there are few other opportunities to serve and its always hard when you also have kids.
When you are bored, pray for divine appointments that you can help other people and minister the love of Christ to others.
I am bored because no one wants to hear bible studies or my Bible studies. How do you teach as you go into the world to teach and make disciples as you are going if no one is listening? There is this push back against doctrine which in itself is a teaching against us.
What do I do when I am bored? I learn a lot to share to do the work of an evangelist. You have to stir up the gift that is in you. You don’t give anyone the measles if you don’t have it. Get infected by the Love of Jesus to share it.
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