THE JOY OF A CHRISTIAN HEDONIST
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
I am a Christian Hedonist. If you are not familiar with that term, it simply means that my goal in life is to glorify God by enjoying Him as much as I possibly can. I believe my happiness in God brings Him glory.
When Jonathan Edwards was nineteen, he wrote his resolutions that shaped his life . One of those resolutions captures the heart of what a christian hedonist is.
“Resolved, To endeavour to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigour, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.”
This states the activity of a christian hedonist, to pursue happiness “in the other world” with as much strength and energy that one can muster. Is this some sort of modern fad or diversion in the wacky trends of modern-day charismaniac christianity? I hardly think so. Actually this is the quest of men and women of God through the ages.
This is what Augustine meant by “His sovereign joy” and what David called “his exceeding joy”. This is why Mary washed Jesus feet with her tears and why Paul “suffered the loss of all things”. This is the pleasure George Whitefield chased on his horse in the wilderness for thirty five years and why David Braneird exposed his frail body to the harsh weather to preach Christ to the Native Americans. It is what carried Jim Elliott to his death in the jungle of South America and has caused thousands of young men and women to leave family and friends to go to the nations with the message of joy found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am unashamedly a Christian hedonist, my life is about pursuing joy in Christ and the joy found in ministering Christ to others. I think I will try my best to follow the resolution of young Jonathan Edwards. I will exert as much power, energy, resources, passion, and yes violence to find happiness in the other world.