Tuesday, November 9, 2010
But I Don’t Like It
In addition to many other similar things, there are a number of good reasons for teaching children to eat certain things they don't like e.g., it's good for them, it's a means of showing gratitude, it's an act of obedience and, over time, they might even learn to like it. When we constantly indulge children concerning their likes and dislikes we do, indeed, spoil them. This is ugly in children but it's horrific in adults. I often told my children, "You don't have to like it, but you do have to eat it."
My likes and my duties frequently run in different directions. Our liking or not liking something doesn't change our duty. The world doesn't exist for me, and neither does the family or the church. I'm part of various communities and I have obligations to all of these that will, inevitably, mean doing things that I don't particularly like, yet are necessary as a matter of my being part of the whole. I must learn to ask more than "what's in it for me?"; I must also consider what's in it for others. It's not simply a matter of what do I get out of it but also what do I contribute? This might involve sacrifice, service, and even suffering. Nevertheless, when I sacrifice, serve or suffer, the Bible teaches us that we do benefit from these as well. Many duties override my immediate desires e.g., participation, giving, labor, prayers, submission, etc. When we do our duty we are often blessed in ways we did not or could not have imagined.