I Didn’t Ask to Be Born!

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

“Jan,” her harried mother called up the stairs, “I need you to vacuum the living room and water the plants while you’re there.”

“Mom!” Jan wailed, “Why do I have to do it? My show is about to come one!”

“Get down here right now! You are a member of this family and you will help with the chores of this family.”

Jan grumbled as she dragged herself down the hall, “Do this, do that. You’d think I was her maid.” “I didn’t ask to be born in this family!” she shouted in retort.

What an interesting concept! Does any person choose his family? Do babies conduct interviews at the hospital with prospective parents? “All the good parents were taken so I guess I’m stuck with you.”

Do you think Jan is happy? Why? What is the cause of her unhappiness?

Take a moment to read Philippians 2:1-4. Notice the words, such as encouragementloveaffectioncompassion, and joy. Verses 1 and 2 tells us Paul’s goal for the Philippians. Verses 3 and 4 tell us the means to reach that goal.

Think about Jan again. Whose interest is number one in Jan’s life? Do you think Jan loves her mom? Perhaps she does overall, but it is not coming across very well right now. You see, a sign of true love is that you don’t think and act like the world revolves around you. True love “does not seek its own.” (I Corinthians 13:5)

Jan has made her life miserable. Not her mom. Jan has made her life miserable. She thinks about the things she wants and expects the rest of the world to conform to her desires. Yet, the world doesn’t revolve around any single individual. Jan is bound to be disappointed. Her hurt will spread to others as she moans about her lot in life.

What if Jan did it God’s way? God said to be concerned about other people and to seek their best interest. True, Jan would still have chores to do, but if she put her mom’s needs first, then her mom is going to feel much better. Jan will get the satisfaction of helping another person and improving his day. Soon, people will want to do nice things for such a lovely young woman.

The chores never change, but you can change your attitude about them. The attitude you take directly affects your happiness in life.

For Further Study

Verses to Consider

  • Psalm 16:8-11
  • Psalm 119:24, 77, 92
  • Psalm 128:1-6
  • Proverbs 17:5
  • Proverbs 24:17-18
  • Isaiah 61:10-11
  • Obadiah 12-15
  • John 17:13
  • Romans 14:15-19
  • I Corinthians 9:24-27
  • I Corinthians 13:5-6
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Philippians 4:4
  • Hebrews 10:34
  • Hebrews 12:1-14
  • James 1:2-4
  • I Peter 1:6-9
  • III John 3-4

Questions to Ponder

  1. Can you gain happiness in life by avoiding problems? Why or why not?
  2. Why would an athlete spend so many hours in training? Could an athlete win a competition without the long, miserable hours of practice?
  3. Repeatedly the Bible states that joy cannot be found in the world, but only in God. Why is that?
  4. If you get everything you want, will that make you happy?
  5. If your worse enemy received what he deserved, would that make you happy?
  6. Should you take pleasure in your own accomplishments?
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