Covid-19 is not our biggest threat during these quarantine days. Most of us will not be infected by coronavirus and even if we are, most of us will survive. But there is another great danger lurking.
Let me explain it this way:
When in Panama last month, we saw two sloths on the roadside. In all my trips there, I had never seen a sloth and this time I saw two. Now home in this quarantined time, I am worried about sloths. Not the cute animals in Panama, but those who succumb to the deadly sin of sloth. Like the slow-moving creature, slothfulness is the slow fade away from Jesus. Unlike Covid-19, everyone quarantined is in the “high risk category.”
The words “sloth” and “boredom” are not in scripture, instead the Bible writers use words like “Idle” and “lazy.” Obviously, these days, those out of work are not “lazy.” It’s more of a forced idleness—that has been thrust upon us. Still the outcomes of idleness whether forced upon or through our own choice or circumstance are the same. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” It’s true.
In both letters to the church at Thessalonica—Paul warns of those who are “idle and disruptive.” Idleness and disruption go hand in hand. He wrote this in his second letter to the church: We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
I’ve seen other destructive outcomes of idleness and boredom. In nearly every counselling session with a man battling a pornography addiction, boredom was at the top of the list that led to their habit. In nearly every counselling session with a woman caught in an affair, boredom was one item listed for her wandering ways. Alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide and most every other destructive behavior can often (not always) trace its beginnings to boredom.
During this mandated stay-at-home quarantine, boredom is our very real enemy. Hours wasted or vegged away in front of a TV or scrolling Instagram is probably not the best use of this time. Instead, we need to remind ourselves daily to embody Paul’s words: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14).
The deadliest danger for most of us is not Covid-19, but using our time unwisely or sinfully. It takes work to press on. It takes commitment and resolve to not succumb to boredom and its destructive and disruptive patterns. We may not have had a say in our idle circumstance, but sinfulness and drifting from Jesus is in our control. Make sure your eyes are fixed on Jesus – quarantined or not.