“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
John PiperOne common objection to Christian Hedonism is that it puts the interests of man above the glory of God — that it puts my happiness above God’s honor. But Christian Hedonism most emphatically does not do this.
To be sure, we Christian Hedonists endeavor to pursue our interest and our happiness with all our might. We endorse the resolution of the young Jonathan Edwards: “Resolved: To endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.”
But we have learned from the Bible (and from Edwards!) that God’s interest is to magnify the fullness of his glory by spilling over in mercy to us. Therefore, the pursuit of our interest and our happiness is never above God’s, but always in God’s. The most precious truth in the Bible is that God’s greatest interest is to glorify the wealth of his grace by making sinners happy in him — in him!
When we humble ourselves like little children and put on no airs of self-sufficiency, but run happily into the joy of our Father’s embrace, the glory of his grace is magnified and the longing of our soul is satisfied. Our interest and his glory are one.
Therefore, Christian Hedonists do not put their happiness above God’s glory when they pursue happiness in him.