How do you explain “glorify” to a small child? Biblical concepts like this pose a particular problem for parents, and author Sally Lloyd-Jones provides us with some help. I included her book Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing in my list of top 12 books of 2012, largely for how well she translates complex and abstract theological categories (like glory), through story, for young children (particularly mine).
One story from her book is titled “Glorify!” There she introduces the heart of what we call "Christian Hedonism" around here, but in language suited for a young child. And she does it in a mere 155 words. Recently we asked her to read the story for us on camera, which she does in this 2-minute video (see the full text below):
God tells us to glorify him. “Glorify” means “to make a big deal of.” When someone makes a big deal of you, it fills up your heart with joy.
But why does God need us to make a big deal of him? Why does he need us to get joy?
He doesn’t. In the beginning God the Father and Jesus, his Son, together with the Holy Spirit, were already there — a loving family, glorifying each other in this wonderful Dance of Joy.
No. God didn’t create us so he could get joy — he already had it.
He created us so he could share it.
He knows it’s the thing your heart most needs to be happy. When God says, “Glorify me!”, he’s really saying, “Be filled with Joy!”
He’s inviting us into his Forever Happiness.
“His secret purpose framed from the very beginning is to bring us to our full glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7 NEB).
To learn more about Christian Hedonism see these resources from John Piper —
- 2-minute interview, "What Is Christian Hedonism?"
- 900-word article, "We Want You to Be a Christian Hedonist!"
- 52-minute sermon, "God Is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him"
- 92-page book, The Dangerous Duty of Delight: Daring to Make God Your Greatest Desire
- 372-page book, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist