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News You Can Use
By David Bachelor, PhD
A new verb has entered the English language and it is stretching the very definition of the word “verb.” According to the website Scibbr, “A verb is a word that describes what the subject of a sentence is doing.” English’s new verb is “bed rotting,” and the subject of this verb is frequently not “doing” much of anything.
The June 10 edition of New Zealand’s The Herald had a story about this new verb. The headline was, “Gen-Zzzzz: Why Young People Are Embracing ‘Bed Rotting’.” According to the article, “bed rotting” is the deliberate choice to focus on self and do nothing productive, while staying in bed for an extended period of time beyond what is needed for daily sleep, “[W]e’re talking hours, if not days.” The author was an enthusiastic supporter of bed rotting as, “[T]he absolute rejection of hustle culture, of busyness, the doubling-down on the post-pandemic Joy of Missing Out (JOMO).”
MSM.com announced its discovery of this mattress-based world with the headline, “‘Bed Rotting’ Is Becoming a Trend Among Young People.” The author acknowledged her indebtedness to Tik Tok for the revelation. The article notes the repellant label for this craze and cites several mental health experts to determine if the trend is pathological. One clinician concluded, “You don’t always have to fight the urge to bed rot, but ask yourself why.”
The June 10th edition of Vogue featured “Bed Rotting: I’ve Made My Bed, Now I’ll Lie in It.” Its author enthusiastically embraces this novel practice. Only indulging in the practice on weekends (she calls it her two-day coma) the author notes the disapproval of friends and family who attempt, “to penetrate the fortress of foam pillow I’ve built around my head, but they are expertly deflected.” The author admits she gained bed rotting expertise decades before there was a word for it.
The Bible’s opinion on bed rotting sounds like the family and friends cited in the Vogue article. The relevant citation is found in Proverbs 6:9-11. The Living Bible translates these verses, “But you—all you do is sleep. When will you wake up? ‘Let me sleep a little longer!’ Sure, just a little more! And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.” Another translation of Proverbs 6 reads, “How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little using your arms as a pillow, and poverty will come like a robber, need will mug you like a bandit” (Pro 6:9-11).
Advocates of bed rotting hail their passive verb as a rejection of hustle culture. God already had an antidote for an obsession to work, and He put it in the Ten Commandments, “Do your work for six days but rest on the seventh day so that you and those who labor with you may be refreshed” (Ex 20:9-10). God has another commandment that provides a caution to bed rotters, “Do not have other gods besides Me” (Ex 20:3). Not even your mattress.