Are Birthdays Selfish?

 Parents have not taught their children the precepts of the law as God has commanded them. They have educated them in selfish habits. They have taught them to regard their birthdays and holidays as occasions when they expect to receive gifts, and to follow the habits and customs of the world. These occasions, which should serve to increase the knowledge of God and to awaken thankfulness of heart for His mercy and love in preserving their lives for another year, are turned into occasions for self-pleasing, for the gratification and glorification of the children. They have been kept by the power of God through every moment of their life, and yet parents do not teach their children to think of this, and to express thanksgiving for His mercy toward them. If children and youth had been properly instructed in this age of the world, what honor, what praise and thanksgiving, would flow from their lips to God! What a revenue of small gifts would be brought from the hands of the little ones to be put into His treasury as thank offerings! God would be remembered instead of forgotten. –Review and Herald, Nov. 13, 1894.  {CSW 142.1}
 
           Birthday Offerings

     Under the Jewish economy, on the birth of children an offering was made to God, by His own appointment. Now we see parents taking special pains to present gifts to their children upon their birthdays; they make this an occasion of honoring the child, as though honor were due to the human being. Satan has had his own way in these things; he has diverted the minds and the gifts to human beings; thus the thoughts of the children are turned to themselves, as if they were to be made the objects of special favor. That which should flow back to God in offerings to bless the needy and carry the light of truth to the world, is turned from the right channel, and frequently does more harm than good, encouraging vanity, pride, and self-importance. On birthday occasions the children should be taught that they have reason for gratitude to God for His loving-kindness in preserving their lives for another year. Precious lessons might thus be given. For life, health, food, and clothing, no less than for the hope of eternal life, we are indebted to the Giver of all mercies; and it is due to God to recognize His gifts, and to present our offerings of gratitude to our greatest benefactor. These birthday gifts are recognized of Heaven.–Review and Herald, Dec. 9, 1890.  {CSW 143.1}
 
    A Reminder of God’s Care and Love

     Our birthday anniversaries, and Christmas and Thanksgiving festivals, are too often devoted to selfish gratification, when the mind should be directed to the mercy and loving-kindness of God. God is displeased that His goodness, His constant care, His unceasing love, are not brought to mind on these anniversary occasions.–Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890.  {CSW 143.2}

Posted on March 23, 2010, in Short Studies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’ve long debated the question of b’days Ari, since learning that the round, lit b’day cake represents the moon…pagan, pagan, pagan! But then, we’ll make a square one and think ‘it’s ok, it’s just a milestone’, yet we’re doing the whole b’day the way the world does, except vegan and alcohol-free! I like the idea of giving thanks to God and giving Him the money that would otherwise be wasted on presents. Tamar keeps going on about her b’day party (which was all the way back in November), so it’s easy to entrench the wrong things in your child’s mind.

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