What do you do when you become bored with Jesus?
It happens when you least expect it. Actually, I imagine for most of us, it happens gradually over time. No one chooses this for their faith. People don’t choose to become apathetic. Yet, it still happens. It plagues thousands of Christians that sit faithfully in their chair or pew each week. Deep down, we have a secret. We’ve become bored with Jesus!
It was right around three years ago that my secret came bubbling to the surface. I was looking for a book of the Bible to study. But as I was thumbing through my Bible, a disturbing thought came to my mind: “Should I read Psalms? Maybe. How about Elijah or Elisha? Those are some cool stories.” I continued to graze over the pages, waiting for something to stick out. I then reached the Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-that tell the story of Jesus. And it happened. “I’ll skip these because I know everything in them.”
What! Where did that come from? My very own thought caused me to stop and take notice. Did I really just say that? I felt like I knew all the stories found in those books. And, for the most part, I did! I grew up in the church and went to Bible college. I can rattle off story after story and miracle after miracle regarding Jesus. But this wasn’t right. It didn’t sit well down deep in my soul. And slowly, I said it out loud, “I’ve become bored with Jesus.”
It started years before. Growing up, I heard sermon after sermon about heaven and hell and what Jesus did on the cross. (I talk about this some in my video teaching I did yesterday for Easter. You can watch it here.) Most of those sermons had one focus: get people to heaven. That’s important. But if we forget John 10:10, we miss the whole picture!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full. -John 10:10 (NIV)
Jesus came to give us life now, not just in the afterlife. So, after hearing countless sermons over the years, it had an effect on me. The pastor would open the Bible and start to give a “Gospel” message. As a kid, I would immediately think, “Oh, cool, I’ve already done that. Check!” Sermon after sermon, I was simply able to check myself off the list. Jesus gets us to heaven. I already know that. So, I can just sit here and draw. As I got to be an adult, this habit had become rock solid. If a pastor started to talk about the cross, out came my phone. What does Yelp suggest for lunch? What’s going on in the Twittershpere? What time do the Colts play?
So, on that day three years ago, it hit me. I had become bored with Jesus because I had taken for granted everything that He had done for me. I knew that all creation was held together by Him (Colossians 1:15–17) and that we have hope because of Him. (Btw, I love this shirt! If someone were to send it to me, I wouldn’t be sad. XL please!
So, if all this were true, how could I feel this way?
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. -Mark 8:35
This is a big deal. Jesus is a big deal! This isn’t some “Ok, cool, I get to go to heaven now!” kind of thing. This is a “lose your life for it” kind of thing. This is a movement. This is a revolution. And, newsflash, revolutions are never boring. So, I had to take a fresh look at this. I needed a new angle.
What do you do if you become bored with Jesus?
That’s the question of the day. Well, this is what I did… I dove in head first. If I felt like I knew everything in the Gospels, let’s test the theory! Over the next few months, I read all four books. And I took my time. I didn’t want to rush. Don’t take it for granted. See if there is something deeper going on. And guess what… my mind was blown! I saw Jesus for the crazy, radical, earth changing, paradigm shattering Savior that He was, is, and always will be! I saw a Man that showed true love. I saw a God that didn’t judge the sinner, only the uber-righteous religious leaders. My eyes were opened. Jesus is truly worthy of all praise, honor, and glory!
What about you?
Have you become bored with Jesus? He isn’t upset with you. But I do know that He wants you back-your attention, your affection, and your praise. Here are some suggestions for you if you’ve become bored with Jesus:
- Start with yourself. If you are taking Jesus for granted or find yourself bored, it’s on you, not Him. You simply need a new outlook and perspective. You have to start by looking on the inside.
- Pray. Ask God to make Himself real to you once again. Ask for His help in this area. He will be more than happy to give it to you!
- Read one (or all!) of the Gospels. I would suggest the book of Mark. It is a fast read, gets into the story and paints Jesus as the true revolutionary He was! Of course, the goal is not to rush through the reading. Take just a few verses each day. Use the headings in your Bible and go section by section and story by story. Ask yourself what is going on in each scene and what Jesus is actually doing or saying. How do His words and actions differ from the other religious leaders or what you would “expect” Him to do? Many times, He does the unexpected! (Example: spitting in the eyes of a blind man. What?!)
- Worship Him! This is key. This isn’t academic. It’s a heart issue. Write down your prayers, journal your thoughts, and listen to music. Throw some Hillsong or Passion on Pandora or Spotify and get sucked into the lyrics. Listen to Kristian Stanfill’s version of Jesus Paid It All over and over until you are on your knees and can’t move. Watch it here. Praising the name of Jesus will erase all apathy. Dive in. You won’t regret it. (I’m listening to it as I write in Starbucks and trying not to cry! Very embarrassing in a coffee shop when you have headphones in!)
My prayer is that you hit this thing head on. Jesus is the answer for everything and deserves so much more than our boredom or apathy. But I also know how easily this can happen. It snuck up on me, and I work at a church! Everything in this world wants to tear us away from the arms of Jesus. I hope that you run back to Him today!
Originally published at phosphorusproject.com on April 6, 2015.