by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

I.         The child has a room full of action figures, video games, cable TV, VCR, a huge collection of video tapes, every piece of sports equipment known to man, his own telephone, a fully loaded computer with Internet access — but he doesn’t have anything to do. He’s bored.

            A.        Boredom is the plague of every parent with a child out of school. The cries of “I’m bored” seem to begin just hours after school lets out.

            B.        Boredom is not just an irritation, it is a spiritual problem. People with time on their hands get into all sorts of mischief. - I Tim 5:11-15

                        1.         Boredom often leads to drug and alcohol abuse as people look for new thrills.

                        2.         Boredom often motivates adultery, leading to divorce.

                        3.         It even leads to suicide as people despair of life.

II.        The Cause of Boredom

            A.        Overindulgence

                        1.         There is a law of diminishing returns - Prov 25:16,27

                                    a.         There are limits to amount of “good things” we can handle before it becomes harmful to us.

                        2.         When pleasure becomes the first priority, the result is ironically boredom

                                    a.         The symptom of a pleasure-obsessed age is boredom.

                        3.         Ceaseless pleasures cause ceaseless efforts by people to rekindle the initial thrill when they are bored.

                                    a.         It leads to moral decay - Ezek 16:49-50

                                    b.         Fatness leads to leaving God - Deut. 32:15

                                    c.         Heroin addicts have to take a bigger and bigger doses to achieve an ever diminishing high.

                                    d.         Movies that once titillated their audiences with subtle innuendoes become more and more explicit to keep their audiences entertained.

                                    e.         It is the breaking of taboos that gives the thrill - Prov 9:17

                                                (1)       People keep stepping over the line of propriety to get their thrills and the line keeps moving

                                                (2)       As their conscience becomes seared, it takes more to excite.

                        4.         Truly, covetousness and greed doesn’t bring happiness but sorrow - I Tim 6:10

                        5.         When a child is bored, there is a temptation to “solve the problem” by giving him more things. Instead of helping, we are perpetuating it. Instead of improving we are causing harm.

                        6.         When adults get bored, this same solution is repeated. We buy ourselves goodies to make ourselves feel better. If we can’t afford it, that is alright, we just add to our debt until we are swimming in a despairing sea of obligations we can never repay in our lifetime.

            B.        Under-exertion

                        1.         Laziness causes a deep sleep - Prov 19:15

                        2.         The slothful turn back and forth on his bed like a door on its hinges - Prov 26:14

                        3.         Lack of work makes us disorderly and busybodies - II Thess 3:11

                        4.         The lazy is too bored to even enjoy his indulgences - Prov 19:24

                        5.         The lazy does not enjoy what he has - Prov 12:27

III.       Solving the problem

            A.        Contentment

                        1.         When will we learn that life is not defined by the abundance of the things we own? - Luke 12:15

                        2.         In many cases less is more

                                    a.         Prov 15:16 - with fear of God

                                    b.         Prov 15:17 - with love

                                    c.         Prov 16:8 - with righteousness

                                    d.         Prov 17:1, Eccl 4:6 - with quietness

                        3.         More leads us away from God. Less brings us close to God.

                        4.         Godliness with contentment is a large gain - I Tim 6:6-10

                        5.         Are you happy? If you never gained another possession, if you never received another pay raise, would you be content with your lot in life? - Phil 4:11-13.

            B.        Diligence

                        1.         Our approach to life often determines our attitude towards life.

                                    a.         Prov 23:7 - We are as we perceive ourselves to be.

                                    b.         Mark 7:21-22 - Sins come from our heart — from our own attitudes.

                        2.         The answer to boredom is deciding not to be bored!

                                    a.         If you allow yourselves to be bored, you will be. Those who decided they won’t be bored won’t be.

                                    b.         Most situations live up or down to our expectations.

                        3.         Are you bored with services, consider these

                                    a.         Rom 12:11 - Be diligent in service, be fervent in spirit

                                    b.         Heb 6:10-12 - Avoid sluggishness and show diligence

                        4.         Whatever we do, we are to do it with all our ability - Col 3:23-24

                                    a.         Eccl 9:10 - This life is our only chance, so make the best of it.

            C.        Growth

                        1.         Notice how often diligence is mentioned - II Pet 1:5-11

                                    a.         If you are busy improving yourself and improving your knowledge, you will not grow bored.

                                    b.         Unlike indulgences, there is no diminishing returns to spiritual growth.

                        2.         The Christian life involves a endless growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord - II Pet 3:18

IV.      Be someone new

            A.        No longer live for yourself, but for Christ - II Cor 5:14-17

            B.        No longer think in terms of what I want, what makes me happy, why I’m bored, but live for Jesus. - Rom 12:1-2

            C.        John 15:8 - By this, glorify God

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