The renowned pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “The life of sin is always in some sense a life of boredom.” This is a really strong statement about boredom—something we don’t typically associate as damaging or sinful. Augustine famously wrote that we are restless in this world until we rest in God. Thus seasons of boredom must mean we are not resting in Him.
There are at least three reasons we should be alarmed by boredom in our lives and leadership.
1. Boredom can attack your character.
In many of my conversations with leaders who have imploded, it became clear that boredom was a common factor. They were bored in their marriages, their careers, or their lives, and they looked for something else. Their choices led to devastation that they did not foresee when they first thought, “I am bored.” Leaders cannot lead without credibility—and credibility is deeply attached to character. Boredom often causes men and women to look for life, thrills, and satisfaction outside of God, which is the life of sin Lloyd-Jones is referencing. The full trajectory of seeking life outside of God leads to destructive paths that can ruin the character and credibility of a leader.
2. Boredom can shipwreck your beliefs.
The Christian faith is a faith “delivered once to the saints” (Jude 3). The beliefs about God given to us in His Word are thrilling. When one becomes bored with the truths of our faith, a desire to say something “new” is birthed. One of the ways ministry leaders are tempted to drift in doctrine is the desire to know or say something “new.” However, saying something “new” is always outside of the “faith delivered once to the saints.”
3. Boredom can disrupt your effectiveness.
In my experience, great leaders retain a passion for the basic disciplines and execute those disciplines over and over again. The great manager does not get bored with executing the important tasks. The great preacher does not get bored with the preparation. The great sales leader does not get bored with the calls.Leaders who get bored with the important disciplines in their craft or industry lessen their effectiveness.
We can ultimately fight boredom by looking to Jesus. He is better than anything else we could pursue.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
– Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus