If I get bored with the Bible, it’s usually because I’m not living it.
If I get bored with prayer, it’s usually because I have nothing meaningful to pray for.
If I get bored with church, it’s usually because I’ve turned into a critical spectator.
And yes, when I get bored, I sin.
It’s my biggest trigger.
Maybe it’s true for you too.
If you’re failing with iniquity, it’s possible that you’re just bored.
If you’re doubting God and His ways, maybe you’re just bored.
If you’re struggling in your relationships, it’s very possible that you’re just bored. I’m not trying to simplify the solution to huge life issues, but let me give you a story to support my claim.
Remember that time King David stopped being a super cool giant slayer and turned into an absolute, sinful train wreck?
Well, the Bible gives us an interesting clue in the first verse of the chapter where the craziness begins. It says, “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Samuel 11:1)
Yes, the king stayed behind.
And, apparently, he got bored.
In verse 2, it says, “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful.”
Then, David slept with Bathsheba. Who was married to Uriah. But then Bathsheba got pregnant. So David tried to trick Uriah. And when that didn’t work, he sent Uriah to the front lines of the battle, to get murdered.
The great king sent Uriah (the husband of the woman he had impregnated) to the front lines of the very battle that he should have been fighting.
Instead of fighting, he was walking around on the roof, bored out of his mind, missing out on the adventure; in the spring when kings go to war.
“Sometimes sin is the best indicator that you’re not in the right place. If you’re a Christian and you’re bored, then you might want to check the distance between yourself and the Master.” – Bill Johnson, Dreaming with God.
I’m not saying that staying busy is the way to holiness. I’ve tried that before and it does not work! However, I am saying that when you align yourself with your season of creativity or battle or adventure… you won’t find yourself strolling around the roof of your palace, looking for something to do.
If you search on Google for, “What does the Bible say about boredom?” this is the very first verse it gives you: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:19)
I love that the genius algorithm somehow knew that if someone is struggling with boredom, the Godliest antidote is the Great Commission. AKA, staying active in the Kingdom. AKA, getting your hands dirty with the Gospel. AKA, serving others and changing the world.
Lately, I have been intentionally making myself available to uncomfortable situations. Some are uncomfortable because I’m afraid and others are uncomfortable because I am unprepared.
I’m booking time to preach inside of maximum security prisons. I am hanging out with people with serious disabilities. I am spending time with atheist friends. I am planning projects with the poorest of the poor.
And this summer, I am moving to Puerto Rico to dedicate my time to relief efforts all over the Caribbean (and also for the beach and the rice and the beans).
Trust me, I don’t do it because I’m all saintly and above the rest of you…
Precisely the opposite.
I am compelled to get out of my selfish, materialistic, hungry for power ways. It’s because I am addicted to the worship of me, myself, that I NEED the Great Commission!
The alternative is that I die of spiritual boredom.
Boredom is an emotional or psychological state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, is not interested in his or her surroundings, or feels that a day or period is dull or tedious.
You got it… boredom is wicked… and now I know why: because I was created for adventure. And I’m not talking about thrill-seeking adventure (although I love that kind as well).
I’m talking about something to die for. A mission that means more than Carlos. A calling and a purpose that demands that I stop being so self-serving.
What I’m really looking for is the cross of Jesus.
You see, “Faith without works is dead.”
Which feels like, “I am dead when my work requires no faith.” But that’s not the death I want.
I want the death of Jesus.
The death of self.
The cross is what I’m looking for.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” – Jesus
Go save your life amigo! Ask God for the courage to go after His dreams and the audacity to pursue them with passion. It’s not about diminishing what you are currently doing, it’s about listening to His voice and stepping out of the boat.
Now, some people think that the difference between success and failure is knowledge. Others think it’s in planning and preparation. Others assume it’s timing or fortune.
I have discovered that the difference between doing something great and not doing something great… is whether I am doing something.
Anything at all.
Yes, I know that if I do nothing for God for the rest of my life He will love me as much as if I do everything He asks. #GospelTruth
But there is something about obedience that puts me in touch with His love for me, and His love for others.
I don’t have to do it.
I GET to do it.
And in the process, I slay the giant of boredom and enter into my promised land.
Jesus left his privilege for the sake of the under-privileged. He abandoned the throne in order to be among the broken. He undressed himself of that which made him God and took the form of a servant.
And now, it’s our turn.
Don’t be bored, be an activist.
Your great (adventure) commission is waiting.
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
– Ephesians 5:14-17
Carlos is a pastor, an activist, a communicator and a provocative preacher. He leads a non-profit and is the author of Simply Sonship and Drop The Stones.