I’m rereading through John Piper’s book Desiring God to make sure I didn’t miss anything the first time through and also to refresh my memory on the things I was learning. I started reading it right before Haley broke up with me, so I was in the middle of the book during a rather traumatic time. However I was able to take away some valuable insights.
Here is what I have come to grasp thus far.
To say, as the Westminster Catechism does, that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever could be more clearly said in this manner: man’s chief end is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. God is most glorified in me when I most satisfied in Him. God is glorified by His creation no doubt. But it is when we, human beings with free will, choose to seek and find our joy in Him and His will that we glorify Him most. God does not find that our desires are too strong — that is to say that we long for the things of this world too much. Rather God finds our desires too weak. We settle for the empty things that this world has to offer because the world offers a promise of immediate gratification of our longings. But ultimately it is only God who truly fulfills all these longings for peace, for love, for justification, for forgiveness, and more.
We ought to love others as God loves, because this brings Him glory. That is to say we ought to love because we enjoy and find pleasure in loving them. Disinterested love is not love at all, but reluctant service as if out of duty. “Love rejoices in the truth.” Paul tells us. We are commanded to love kindness elsewhere in Scripture. True and lasting joy can and ought to be found in loving those around us. So while we ought not to seek to gratify the desires of our flesh, the proper motivation for our love for one another is that it brings us joy to love others.
I’ll write more as I discover more.