Summary: When you are bored, you have lost interest; the way to counter that is to develop interests. This means being proactive, intentionally planning ways to reduce boredom, but we want to do this from a Biblical worldview.
Defeating COVID Boredom in 2021
1. Many people have not struggled much with boredom because they are social and involved in church, clubs, and community organizations. With the lockdown and long-term restrictions, however, things have changed. My friends in the ballroom dance club cannot enjoy their twice-a-month dances. The Senior Center, normally teeming with activities, has been used as a COVID testing site.
2. Psychologists tell us that suicides are up, drug use is up, depression, stress, and anxiety have increased significantly. Some people struggled with boredom before the Pandemic, but others, who rarely struggled, are struggling now.
3. On the other side of the spectrum, healthcare workers are putting in as many hours as they can handle, and perhaps even beyond what they should.
4. People with time on their hands feel neglected by busy people. People with loads of time may find it difficult to believe that others cannot spare a few moments, and those pressured with too much to do cannot understand how people can be bored.
5. I don’t have all the answers, but I go out of my way not to be bored. Yes, I like time to be alone, time to think, time to read and ponder. But I do not like to be bored. When you are in ministry, boredom is rarely an issue. But the rest of life can offer boring moments.
6.One day I was waiting in the doctor's office playing solitaire….if I had decks of cards to sell, I would have made a fortune. I came prepared. I was proactive.
Main Idea: When you are bored, you have lost interest; the way to counter that is to develop interests. This means being proactive, intentionally planning ways to reduce boredom, but we want to do this from a Biblical worldview.
I. If We Take the Path of Least RESISTANCE, Boredom Will Get Us (Proverbs 14:12).
A. What comes NATURAL to us may not be the best approach.
1. Disclaimer One: Some highly energized people are exempt from this sermon.
2. Disclaimer Two: Sometimes it may be God’s will for us to be bored.
• Tedious means “too long or slow.” Not necessarily boring.
• Monotonous means boring because of repetition.
• Boredom is the state of being bored; feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity
4. Prv 14:12, "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."
5. Matthew 25:30, "Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
• Worthless implies evil behavior, but mostly wasted…passive
• Being bored invites trouble; bored kids in school, spouses, employees…
• The Boy Who Cried “Wolf” was bored! “Idle hands are the devil’s tools”
B. We may deal with boredom in good ways, but we OVERDO and it backfires on us.
1. Passive entertainment (TV, movies, etc.)
2. Computer/video games or Social media (article: parents)
3. Technology eventually makes the problem worse; displaces other interests
4. Materialism (buying)
5. Eating, alcohol, and a host of addictions (even OCD house cleaning)
6. Sports or any other interest overdone
C. What CAUSES of boredom?
1. under stimulation (we need an attainable challenge)
2. over stimulation (nothing except the extravagant interests us)
3. repetition (we need variety, but some people fear change or variety)
4. disconnection from others, unilateralism
5. depression (unmotivated, frustrated)
6. attention deficit (a circular problem) – need more hands-on
7. confinement (esp., an issue for those Sheltering at home)
D. Bored people can become BORING people.
1. Generally, people are bored because they have limited interests, and people with few interests are generally uninteresting to others.
2. You see this develop in teen groups already: some kids have to be in groups with kids from their own school or who are athletic or honor students… not broad enough with a variety of interests.
3. Our approach toward life is the greatest factor in determining whether we find life as a Christian boring or filled with wonder and interest.
II. Embracing God’s Priorities and Being PROACTIVE is the Best Strategy (Matthew 6:33).
A. Boredom is part of life, and we must learn to address it in CHILDHOOD.
1. Kids need to develop non-computer interests, things they can do in their own homes. Balance between lone hobbies and social/friends.
2. I began stamp collecting, for example, before I was 8. Coloring books, tinker toys, and friends in the neighborhood to ride bikes with or play games. Board games. Card games. Outdoor games. I read Hardy Boys mysteries.
3. My kids were amazing artists for their age. Hannah did crafts, and Luke was into everything military.
B. We must focus on GOOD things under the Lordship of Christ (Philippians 4:8)