Thomas Watson, “Uses” for Shorter Catechism #1

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God

  1. So that we know our chief end ought not be earthly things, which we may never get, or shall never satisfy our souls.
  2. It corrects us
    1. When we don’t use our lives for the glory of God
    2. When our chief consideration in life is our own glory
    3. When we oppose God’s glory.
  3. It calls us to make God’s glory our chief.
    1. Magistrates ought to pursue it.
    2. Ministers ought to promote it.
    3. Masters of family must lead their families in this.

“Man’s chief end is to enjoy God for ever.”

In this life

  1. For seeing the wickedness of making enjoyment of this age our chief end.
  2. Enjoy God in his ordinances of worship

In the age to come

  1. Enjoy God now that we may enjoy him hereafter.
  2. Let it spur us to duty to do these things now.
  3. In sorrow now, there is a day coming of pure enjoyment in God.


Body of Divinity, 6-26


What’s Worse? What’s Inside Us or What’s Outside Us?

“Today, when we say that somebody is repressed, we tend to mean it as a criticism. It means they are uptight, stiff, or unaware of their true emotional selves. That’s because we live in a self-expressive culture. We tend to trust the impulses inside the self and distrust the forces outside the self that seek to push down those impulses. But in this earlier moral ecology, people tended to distrust the impulses inside the self. These impulses could be restrained, they argued, through habit.” -David Brooks, The Road to Character

‘All’ Isn’t Really All Unless It Includes Him

“We ‘have all we want’ is a terrible saying when ‘all’ does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St Augustine says somewhere, ‘God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s nowhere for Him to put it.’ Or as a friend of mine said, ‘We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; its there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.’” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Some More Dangerous Than Others (But Not the Ones You Think)?

“The dangers of apparent self-sufficiency explain why Our Lord regards the vices of the feckless and dissipated so much more leniently than the vices that lead to worldly success. Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger.” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

BTW NOTE: Is this true? Isn’t it possible that Jesus doesn’t talk about “the vices of the feckless and dissipated” because it was a ‘given’ in that society that those were wrong, but the vices associated with worldly success were not ‘givens’ and thus needed exposition by Jesus.

Can’t Escape the World Like That

“For a brief season in his life, Jerome (ca. AD 347-420), the translator of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), decided to become a hermit, an ascetic. He went out into the desert, living among wild animals and scorpions. He became emaciated because of his extreme methods of fasting, trying to live by the standards of God’s law as he understood it. He tells us in a biographical narrative that even as he was trying to conform himself to the standards of God’s law, he found that his mind-even in the midst of a desert, while his body was wasting away-was filled with thoughts of the young girls who had surrounded him in Rome.’ The law could not help him. In fact, the law exacerbated his sin.” -Derek Thomas

The Empty Promises of Peer Approval

“A young person will forget the transcendent glory of an identity that is rooted in the presence, power, and grace of the Redeemer. Instead she will live for the pseudo-glory of the approval of peers. She’ll pick up on and parrot her friends’ vocabulary, she’ll take on their sense of style, she’ll laugh obviously at their jokes, and she’ll even participate in activities that prick her conscience— all because she has convinced herself that she “needs” their approval. There will be moments when she will feel transcendent. She will feel as if her life has real meaning and purpose because she is connected to something bigger than herself. The sad fact is that she has opted for less. The community of her peers has actually become a replacement community for the transcendent glory of loving, worshipful, daily community with the Lord. And the things that she hopes she will find in the acceptance of her peers, no human being is ever able to give to her. She will only ever find it in the accepting grace of God.” -Paul Tripp