Is Boredom a Sin?

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Boredom is being so absorbed by the immediate gratification of electronic stimuli that we cannot enjoy the simple blessing of God’s presence. Boredom is the refusal to enjoy God in the present moment and weariness is our unwillingness to be refreshed in Christ. Boredom and weariness are sisters, they are both symptoms of our loss of joy, peace, and rest in God.

Boredom is the result of becoming so focused on the passing pleasures of this life that we forget the joy of our heavenly reward.  Boredom is a state of being weary and restless caused by the loss of the constant conscious presence of Christ. Boredom believes that God and the world are obligated to keep me constantly entertained.

In Boredom: the Literary History of a State of Mind, Patricia Meyer Spacks explains that boredom as such is a relatively recent invention, from the eighteenth century at the latest. Before that we had melancholy (which was a kind of affliction of the spirit) and, further back still, acedia (which was a sin). What’s distinctive about boredom is that we don’t see it as either a condition of our own selves or a sin, but rather something that just happens to us. When we’re bored, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with us: we think the world is at fault. Stupid old world — it doesn’t interest me. And interesting me is the world’s job.

Alan Jacobs, “Boredom” 

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