The world is inconsolable in its longing for happiness, love and joy. God has filled the heart of every man, woman and child with a quest, a longing. Augustine once said, “You made us for Yourself and our hearts find no peace till they rest in You.”
The French philosopher Blaise Pascal captured well the longing of every person when he wrote, “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end…They will never take the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man.”
Hedonism is defined as “pleasure seeking” and the question is this: does God want us to seek our pleasure through seeking Him? In other words, is a “Christian Hedonist” an oxymoron? Are they compatible? Can we simultaneously seek God fully and also desire our own joy?
C. S. Lewis wrote, “It is a Christian duty, as you know, for everyone to be as happy as he can.”
Is the wholehearted disciple supposed to seek God for his own enjoyment? I believe so. The scriptures challenge us to live joyful happy lives through finding our satisfaction in Christ. Take time to read Psalms 43:4, 100:2, 37:4, 90:14; John 15:11; Matthew 25:21. Even in suffering we are called to a joyful life: Matthew 5:11-12; James 1:2; and Philippians 4:4.
John Piper writes: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Here is a radical, but biblical thought: the wholehearted disciple is called to be a Christian hedonist! Pursuing joy in Jesus is our highest calling. Pursuing joy in Christ brings the most glory to God!
A Christian hedonist,
Steve Holt D.D. MA