Do You Bore God?

Christians like to think in terms of themselves or others being “pleasing to God.”

But isn’t that about the most boring way of framing your relationship to God? Because who doesn’t know when they’re behaving in a way that’s displeasing to God? Who can’t tell when they’re working against God’s interest?

Who sins, and doesn’t know they’re sinning? No one. Kids know when they’re being selfish, greedy, mean or wasteful. If you’re being displeasing to God, you don’t have to wonder whether you are. You know it.

What I’m interested in is whether or not I’m boring to God. Because I’m confident that’s something God has a problem with: people who bore him so badly he’s forced to produce thunder, or consider smiting all televisions, or whatever. At least a person who is sinning is engaged; their conscience is alive and roiling; it’s ready to be pricked. But a boring person has placed themselves beyond the pale by so thoroughly wrapping themselves in everything that makes them boring you couldn’t engage them if you were a magician with a talking dog.

I don’t want to become a person God looks at, and thinks, “Wake up, already! Stop being so dangblangit boring!” A person who thinks they’ve got it all figured out. Who is sure they know God about as well as they know anyone. Who thinks they long ago grasped the phenomenon of God incarnated as Christ. Who goes many days in a row without once stopping to let their mind be boggled by the at once ineffable mystery and tangible reality of the Holy Trinity. Who never thinks of the world as being created, but only as having been created. Who believe themselves done with their past, and secure in their future. Who are deaf to the symphony of the present. Who are more interested in preaching to others than saving themselves. Who see God in their image, instead of them in His.

Who for so long have been so sure they’re pleasing enough to God that the question itself has lost all meaning.

I want to make sure I’m always awake to the glory of the now, always alert and ready for The Next Big Change. I want to be sure that I’m constantly clearing from my mind and heart anything that might interfere with anything God wants to tell me. I want to vigilantly guard against complacency, ease, the taking of gifts for granted, the perils of comfort. I want to dare to insist that my life isn’t mine at all, but rather a means by which God, through yet another of his miraculous creations, fully engages with “my” little corner of His wondrous world.

Speaking of which, there’s someone at my door!

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • tarnold777

    Do you think being boring is similar to being lukewarm (Rev3:15-16)?

  • Christine

    A hearty "AMEN" coming at ya….gonna share this one, think I know a few people (especially at Seminary) who will appreciate this. Thank you John for once again giving me a kick in the pants and making me think

  • Latoya

    Though I get your point, that sounds the same as what I think being pleasing to God means

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    My point is that I think a lot of Christians think that basically BECAUSE they're Christian they automatically are pleasing to God–and then they get complacent. And boring/lazy/bored.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    I hope that most of the time I'm just annoying to God. That seems to be my special purpose.

  • http://namesake.wordpress.com Dale

    Oooh, boy, you're preachin' good now! Life to the fullest (aka abundant life) must mean oh! so much more than coloring inside the arbitrary lines.

  • tarnold777

    I think that if I am being truly "Christian", I actually can't be more pleasing to God. I believe if I am doing my level best to be like Christ, the world might think I'm a bit boring, but I don't think I would truly be lazy or bored.

    I'll let you know if I ever get there.

  • http://micicart.blogspot.com/ Aleksandra Micić

    This was beautiful to read especially the last paragraph… brought a tear of joy in my eye.