The Sin of Boredom: MK Perspective


Having grown up in a third world country, I have seen true poverty. In Guatemala, people who were finished with their chores would sit outdoors and contemplate life. They were not stressed out, even though they were poor. They didn’t feel that they had to be doing something every second in order to be happy.

In America, there are so many options for continuous entertainment. Most Americans become angry if they don’t have the extra money to do everything their heart desires. They lash out at the people around them that they are miserable, even though they have already spent lots of money on entertainment.

The sin of boredom is truly ugly. It reveals a heart of self-centeredness. Instead of asking God who to minister to at that moment (either by phone or in real life), they think only about themselves. They lack love. Love seeks the good of others above oneself. The majority of Americans have no love. As Jesus tells us about these end times in Matthew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”

We are commanded to be different from the world. First John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” What a cold statement! The love of the Father is NOT in the man who loves the things of the world.

Even the fluff entertainment (that might not be sin in and of itself), when indulged to excess the way that Americans do, leads to tens of thousands of squandered hours. We will stand before God and give an account of our time. We will be ashamed. We will wish we had the time back to glorify God rather than indulge our flesh.

But very little of today’s entertainment is harmless. It causes us to indulge in sins of the mind, which lead to sins of action. As a whole, American Christians don’t even have a conscience any more. No only do they indulge in wickedness, but they feel entitled to self-pamper their greed every waking moment.

When the Israelites in the wilderness were “bored” with the manna that God miraculously provided, God sent quail for meat, and God struck dead the people who were bored, wanting more variety in their life. This is how God feels about boredom. It’s inextricably related to ungratefulness. God had supernaturally provided for all their needs, and they slapped God in the face because they DEMANDED more variety. They were angry that God did not give them more variety. They were ready to go back into slavery in Egypt rather than “put up” with God’s provision. What rotten people! No wonder God struck them dead!

Yet we are WORSE in this nation. God has given us more riches than any preceding time in history, and instead of being fully satisfied with our manna from God, we slap God in the face and demand to be self-pampered with whatever we can think of. If we can think it up, we should be able to do it without hindrance. How dare God say that we can’t do whatever we feel like doing?

God, have mercy on our nation where we say, “Have fun,” every time someone leaves the house to go out, as if the goal of life is having fun. Instead we should say, “Find ways to glorify God while you’re out.” Are we actually Christians, or do we indulge our flesh to the same level as the world?

This is the second in a series of “Indictments Against the Sins of America.”

  1. The Sin of Entitlement
  2. The Sin of Boredom (this post)
  3. The Sin of Lust

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30 Responses to “The Sin of Boredom: MK Perspective”

  1. Karen says:

    I hear you on this. Our culture wants to be entertained, it seems, all the time. There are times for leisure and relaxation, and even entertainment and recreation, but not 24/7.

    • Susan says:

      My heart is grieved at how American Christians spend their time, and the whole trajectory of their lives is toward entertainment rather than toward God.

  2. Mary says:

    Coming from a poorer culture, it is easy to see the problems in not just the American culture, but in American churches. For most Americans this is all they know and see. They may have few examples of Christians living 100% sacrificial fulfilled Christian lives. And it does not seem to be valued.

    And yet, look at MK’s and other immigrants from poor countries. It does not take long living in the U.S. to be influenced and sucked into the selfish lifestyle. So even those (we) who know better, often get sucked into the all-consuming search for entertainment and ‘more’ in the U.S.

    Greed and selfishness is universal and in all cultures. It only manifests itself in different ways. Poverty does not eliminate greed and selfishness.

    • Susan says:

      I agree that greed and selfishness is part of the sinful human condition that needs to be repented of in any culture. The constant entertainment of the American culture causes people to value the trivial at the expense of the eternal. Other countries that don’t have constant entertainment have a better chance of connecting with God and other people in meaningful conversations and in activities that might matter for eternity.

  3. Gale says:

    Wow…so so true, and so so convicting. Thank you for this. I think I needed to hear this.

    • Susan says:

      Most people don’t think there is anything wrong with being bored. They don’t realize that boredom is caused by thinking only of oneself.

  4. Keisha says:

    I have never really thought in true depth about boredom in a biblical sense, so thanks for opening my eyes to this.

  5. Sasha Mills says:

    This is poignant. You are right about the idea that fun is all there is … I’ve often thought that we’ve twisted the “pursuit of happiness” to mean something that it shouldn’t.

    • Susan says:

      When I see people building their life around fun, looking forward to that more than to spending time with the Lord or ministering to others, it makes me sad. Because true joy is found only in abiding in Christ and doing what He wants us to do. Even though fun in and of itself is not wrong, if it is the center of our existence, it’s gotten out of balance and has become an idol.

  6. Shiree Burch says:

    I have never thought of boredom in this light but I feel like my eyes have been open to a wonderful truth. Thank you.

  7. Julie says:

    Susan- thank you for sharing this thought-provoking post! I haven’t thought of boredom in this way!

    • Susan says:

      When men in particular are bored, they end up going places in their minds that Satan wants them to go. If they were living their lives selflessly for Christ, there would be no time for selfishness.

  8. Alice Mills says:

    Boredom is the result of a lack of wonder and engagement in one’s own life. I let my kids be bored and they became avid readers.

  9. Char says:

    When our boys were little we’d say “Don’t use the b word.” That was “bored.” We live in a place and time where there is little reason except laziness to be bored. 😉

  10. Melissa says:

    This is a great post! I talk with my children often about the disparity between their life and the lives of so many I work with. They have wonderful imaginations that are cultivated through boredom!

    • Susan says:

      So many kids in third world countries make their own fun with pebbles, dirt, and sticks. With all the toys our children have, it’s incredible that they can still say they are bored. It’s great when kids can use their imaginations for creative play.

  11. Boredom = Self-centeredness! Exactly. We learned early, if we admitted to being bored, mom always had something productive for us to do. thinking beyond me!

  12. Rachael says:

    YES! Thank you for this! So easily we can forget what boredom truly is! I also grew up in a third world country, and it’s been the reason I can add perspective to so many situations in my life.

  13. Kathleen says:

    I’ve never heard boredom likened to ungratefulness before but that makes so much sense. I will share that with my kids the next time they complain of boredom.

  14. We often remind our children about how the Israelites complained about the manna they were given from God and how God responded. Complaining is the opposite of contentment, and I really feel like this is what you’re hitting at here. Boredom is idolatry.

  15. Ann says:

    Even Jesus made sure there were responsiblities that he fulfilled and not for once was he bored. When you do whatever is assigned for you, you will not entertain boredom

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