Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who's It All About Anyway?

Today is my birthday. It's the first time I've ever worked on my birthday. In a society where "Birthday Week" celebrations are common, I'm a rarity. (I also don't own a smart phone or tablet and don't have cable tv among others things but I guess that's another post altogether.) 

Now hear me out, I don't think celebrating birthdays is wrong or sinful. Celebrations are a Biblical concept that we don't observe enough in the church. But I know that as American Christians we often do things without questioning them.

I once knew a Pastor who celebrated his birthday every year by calling his mom and saying "Thank You." That was it. Plain and simple. Have you ever though to thank your mom for your birth outside of the obligatory Mother's Day card? Just a thought.

What I'm really trying to get to hear is the sin in my heart that I often discover around my birthday and Christmas. A sin of entitlement. Of self-centeredness. If I want to be completely honest, I make myself an idol on my birthday.

Yuck. I feel gross just typing those words. We often think of idols in terms of more tangible things like food, sex, money, etc. But to worship yourself. That's a whole other level of idolatry. And it makes me wonder? Am I the only one. Take a look at the words of this once popular 'worship' song:

"Crucified, laid behind the stone
You lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose, trampled on the ground
You took the fall, and thought of me
Above all"

Have you really thought about those words before? A gifted theologian could spend all day poking holes in the theology of that song but I just want to focus on one line: "thought of me above all." Do you really believe that? I mean sure God died to save you and me from our sins but is that all? The Bible is clear that God does things for His glory and His glory alone. He is sovereign. And if you look if you look at the verses in the rest of the song it continues to elevate humans to an idolatrous position...

So tonight I'll probably eat some kind of special dinner and on Saturday there will be a cake and maybe some gifts. But I don't deserve any of that. I'm not owed it. And my birthday is not all about me. I owe everything in my life including life itself to the Creator of all things.

Do you have any suggestions for keeping a Christ centered focus on your birthday and all days? I really liked these ideas. Maybe next year...


  1. Well said. I've always thought that there are only two things that we can worship in this life: God and self. If we are worshiping one, we aren't worshiping the other, and vice versa. Thankfully, in the next life, we will have only one worship option.

    1. Wise words, Brian. What a great hope we have!