Delight Is Our Duty

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By John Piper About Christian Hedonism
Part of the series Message Excerpt

Audio Transcript

I love this story and you will enjoy it because you like love stories. It’s about me and my wife — so now, everybody’s waking up. Two weeks ago, we celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary. Thank you, on God’s behalf. Marriage is about grace and forgiveness. You will find out.

Now, remember what I’m doing here with this story. I am trying to make the point that God is most glorified in us when we’re most satisfied in him, all right? I buy and I hold this bundle of roses. They cost $200, right, give or take. I hold this huge bundle of roses behind my back and instead of walking in my front door, I ring the doorbell, which is unusual. She comes to the door and looks puzzled, and I say, “Happy anniversary, Noël.”

She says, “Oh, Johnny. They’re beautiful. Why did you go to such an expense?” Suppose I said, “It’s my duty. I read it in a book. This is what husbands do.” What’s wrong with that answer? You’re shaking your head. That’s right. You should be shaking your head. Okay, I’ll show you what’s wrong with the answer.

We’ll just rewind. Ding-dong. “Happy anniversary, Noël.” “Oh, Johnny. They’re beautiful. Why did you go to such an expense?” “Well, I couldn’t help myself. In fact, I’ve got a plan for this evening. I want you to go put on something nice because we’re going out. Because there’s nothing I’d rather do than spend the evening with you. It would make me very happy.”

Do you think that at that moment, she would say, “It would make you happy? You’re always thinking about what makes you happy. What about me, your wife?” Do you think she’d say that when I said, “This evening spent with you, as an all-satisfying person in my life tonight, would make me happy.” Do you think she’d say, “All you ever think about is what makes you happy”?

Why? Because she is glorified when I’m satisfied in her. You know this. You know this in your experience. What you find is she or he in whom you find pleasure makes them your treasure. That’s what they feel. I feel treasured right now because you are finding your joy in me. I feel treasured — so does God. That’s the point.

So don’t go to church and say, “That’s what Christians do. I read it in a book.” Ring the doorbell, and when God opens the door, say, “Nothing would make me happier than to meet you here because I need you.”

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