Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Don’t Have to Like It

As a follow-up to the “Happy Eyes” post (below), my son reminded me of something he heard me say on many occasions when he was but a lad: “You don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it.” This is a basic principle all children need to learn because they’re going to need it when they’re adults, and if they don’t learn it, they won’t really become adults.

Life is full of duties, and a duty is something we have to do whether we like it or not. Duty is something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation e.g., the respectful and obedient conduct due a parent, superior, superior, elder, etc. So, for example, a child is not required to like his carrots, but he is required to eat them if that is what his parent told him to do. The parent is in a position of authority and sees what is good for the child regarding the nutrition of carrots; the child, not appreciating this truth, complains, “I don’t like carrots.” The parent responds, “You don’t have to like them, you just have eat them.” When the child eats them he does his duty, obeying his parent. He also reaps the nutritional benefits. Perhaps, later, he will also come to carrots.

A person who has learned to do their duty, and not simply to follow the impulses of their likes and dislikes, has not only learned to see beyond the moment, they have learned to trust God who has given authority to others over them. A person who cannot submit to others cannot submit to God. Like a child, their short-sighted desires dictate their behavior. Moreover, like spoiled and indulged children, these “grown-ups” are no fun to be around. 


  1. What do think of this, Pastor Booth: "You don't have to like the carrots, but you do have to like the obedience."