Foundation for Reformed Theology


What are we to enjoy? To what are we to hold fast?

Augustine wrote:

There are some things which are to be enjoyed, some which are to be used. . . . Those which are to be enjoyed make us happy; those which are to be used assist us and give us a boost, so to speak, as we press on towards our happiness, so that we may reach and hold fast to the things which make us happy. . . . If we choose to enjoy the things that are to be used, our advance is impeded and sometimes even diverted, and we are held back, or even put off, from attaining things which are to be enjoyed, because we are hamstrung by our love of lesser things.

To enjoy something is to hold fast to it in love for its own sake. To use something is to apply whatever it may be to the purpose of obtaining what you love.

The things which are to be enjoyed, then, are the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

On Christian Teaching, translated with an Introduction and Notes by R. P. H. Green (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 8-10.

So let us gladly enjoy what we are to enjoy and use what we are to use. Conversely, let us not enjoy what we are to use or, worse, try to use what we are to enjoy.

Dr. James C. Goodloe IVGrace and Peace,

Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive

Foundation for Reformed Theology

4103 Monument Avenue

Richmond, Virginia 23230


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