Christians love celebrating their birthdays. We celebrate with cake, food, drinks, music, and treat ourselves to gifts and treats. But what does the Bible say about birthdays? Are we prohibited from celebrating, or are we encouraged to do so?
Mention of Birthdays in the Bible
There are three stories where birthday celebrations are mentioned in the Bible. The first is in Genesis 40:20, which mentions the story of the Pharaoh of Egypt during Joseph’s time. A few days after the Pharaoh’s birthday, the execution of the Pharaoh’s baker occurs.
And the third mention can be found in Job 1:4, where Job’s children celebrated the birthday of his eldest son and a natural disaster occurs killing all ten of them.
These mentions of birthdays in the Bible talk about tragedies in connection with birthday celebrations. This is why many Christians and other people believe that God does not want us to celebrate birthdays. Its association with these three tragic events mentioned in the Bible is interpreted by many to symbolize the negativity around birthday celebrations.
However, nowhere in the Bible does it say that birthdays are prohibited, or even encouraged. You can find in 1 Corinthians 10:31, that says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
This Bible verse can be interpreted as God allowing us to feast, but in whatever we do, we must glorify His name. When we celebrate, we must not behave in sinful, lustful, or gluttonous behavior, but we must still act with God as our center.
Our Attitude Towards Birthdays
Whether you celebrate your birthday or not, it is fine with the Lord. Whether you feast on your birthday or you don’t, that is fine with the Lord too.
Our attitude towards our day of birth should be guided by what Paul said in Romans 14: 5-6: “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats eats in honor of the Lord. While the one who abstains abstains in honor of the Lord, and gives thanks to God.”
It doesn’t matter if you celebrate or remember your birthday or not, what is important to the Lord is you give thanks for giving you life and for giving you more years of your life so you can continue to serve Him and live your life in accordance to His teachings. In Proverbs 9:11, it says, “For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
When you surrender your days to the Lord, be it your birthday or not, He will continue to give you more days of your life.
The Bible offers plenty of verses that we can use as a message of love to someone who is celebrating his birthday. Just like your love for the birthday celebrant, God also wishes him or her gifts and blessings. In Psalm 20:4, it states, “May He grant you your heart’s desires and fulfill all of your plans!”
3 John 1:2, says, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes with your soul.” You can give this message to a birthday celebrant to relay the message of God’s love for that person.
And lastly, you can also remind the birthday celebrant or yourself that while you may give yourself or your loved ones treats and expensive gifts, the gift of love from God is the greatest of all. James 1:17, says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Happy Birthday Blessings
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
Psalm 20:4 New International Version (NIV)
‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
Numbers 6:24-26 New International Version (NIV)
For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
Proverbs 9:11 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
Psalm 118:24 New International Version (NIV)
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 New International Version (NIV)
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15 New International Version (NIV)
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
John 16:21 New International Version (NIV)
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
3 John 1:2 New International Version (NIV)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13 New International Version (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 New International Version (NIV)
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4 New International Version (NIV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5 New International Version (NIV)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)
When it comes to birthdays, whether you celebrate or not, always remember to glorify God. Thank God for another year of your life, for good health, love, and a life where you can continue to glorify Him in everything that you do. Whether you feast, drink, or dance, always remember to put God first before anything.