More Pious than God | Dietrich Bonhoeffer


In my study of Ecclesiastes, I came across this quote from Bonhoeffer that elucidates the Carpe Diem passages (in Encountering Ecclesiastes: A Book for Our Time). It’s a long quote, but worth reading a few times. How many of us—especially in charismatic circles—have been taught to never be satisfied with what God gives?

I believe that we ought to love and trust God in our lives, and in all the good things that he sends us, that when the time comes (but not before!) we may go to him with love, trust, and joy. But, to put it plainly, for a man in his wife’s arms to be hankering after the other world is, in mild terms, a piece of bad taste, and not God’s will. We ought to find love in what he actually gives us; if it pleases him to allow us to enjoy some overwhelming earthly happiness, we must not try to be more pious than God himself and allow our happiness to be corrupted by presumption and arrogance, and by unbridled religious fantasy which is never satisfied with what God gives.

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