“I’m bored.” What parent hasn’t heard those words from their children? But sometimes the children aren’t the only ones saying it. Many adults have said the same thing to their spouse or to themselves. Boredom is closely linked to a lack of contentment in life. They are both feelings about the inability to enjoy the moment, the current phase of life.
A person like this is constantly looking for the next thrill or adrenaline rush. Happiness is somewhere in the future with the next achievement, accolade, possession or promotion — never now. This person leaves other family and friends wondering, “When are you going to stop and enjoy life? When is enough, enough?” The other thought that destroys relationships is, “Aren’t I or we enough?”
The problem with these feelings is life is lived in the moment, the now. Yesterday is history; tomorrow may or may not come, but we live in the present and always will. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan for the future, set goals or try to fulfill our life potential. Most of these desires are encouraged or designed into us by God. However, we must separate our identity from all of them. This is often easier said than done. Why do we at times feel like this, and what can we do about it?
Self-Image: I don’t like me
For many thrill seekers and achievers, personality type is a big component of their need for the “next thing.”
However, even they need to learn how to be content, achieve balance and enjoy the important things of life. How we each think and feel about our self is a big part of the discontent in life. A person like this is always looking outside of self and the present to find contentment and fulfillment in life. This mysterious thing being sought is somewhere in the future or anywhere but here (be it where they live work or play). They have linked their self-identity to something outside of self. Contentment, being happy with self, is an inside job. You take you wherever you go, so if you don’t like you here and now you won’t like you over there tomorrow.
Self-image is primarily a result of our family of origin and the events we experienced in our developmental years.
Our personality, age of experiencing the events, the kind of events, people involved, genetics and family system history are all part of how we interpret and personalize these events. People are complicated beings and unique in many ways. All of these things cause each of us to form both an intellectual and emotional belief system about self.
For most this belief system is more negative and untrue, which is why I end up not liking me. Satan can also add his own condemnation to us (for he is a liar and condemner) that become tormenting strongholds of thought ( 2 Corinthians 10.3-5; 1 John 4.18).
Unfulfilled life potential
Unfulfilled life potential is another cause of boredom and low self-image. If a person just believes there is a God and He created us, then reason tells us we would be created for a purpose. Creation shows us God is a God of order, design and purpose. Boredom is a result of not fulfilling your life purpose and potential. This is the problem of many an unruly school child — boredom, lack of challenge and interest. Scripture tells parents to discover your child’s design (bent, interest, personality and abilities) and train him or her accordingly (Proverbs 22.6). There are many assessments along with life counseling that could help a person discover his design and eliminate the boredom.
A Christian should realize that God knew us before we were born and has a plan for our lives (Ephesian 1.4; 2.10;
Psalm 139.13-18) and designed us accordingly. He promises to be with us, never forsake us and give us grace to carry out His design for our life (Matthew 28.20; Hebrews 13.5; Philippians 2.13). The challenge for believers is to develop their life potential, which takes discipline and yielding their body (Romans 12.1-2) to God’s plan rather than rejecting it for their own. God’s design for each of us is always within the greater context of His redemptive plan.
Anything we conceive is far less grand in scope and meaning and will eventually lead to boredom.
Potential is built upon a proper foundation of self-image. Christians often have a problem with this concept because of the belief in the fallen nature of man. What they fail to realize is God separates sin from the sinner. He hates sin because of what it does to His creation and mankind in particular — the pinnacle of His creation. However, God loves people even in their fallen state (John 3.16).thus the purpose of a Redeemer to destroy sin and the curse of death.
God is in the process of restoring all of creation to its original sinless state and purpose — including each of us. Heal your untrue view of self with all its negative and hurtful thoughts and emotions. Saturate your soul in the truth of scripture until you can accept the truth about how God feels about you. Find your new identity in the Christ who loves you, go live your design and enjoy today.
Dr. John D. Hawkins, Sr. and his son, John Jr. run Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach. They can be reached by visiting gatewaycounseling.com.