“We ought to mix water with our wine” by John Calvin

“We should regard material possessions simply as props to help us, until we see the Father face to face. He is our bliss and happiness. By all means let us laugh, but in the manner of those who are ready to weep should that be God’s will. Our joy should be joined with sadness, and with compassion for those who suffer. No one should live apart from others, and all should rejoice whenever God’s name is honoured. Yes, rejoice, even when we have reason to feel sad and gloomy.

Conversely, it may be that we are fine, in the best of spirits. But supposing there is some dire trouble in the church or God’s name is blasphemed, held up to shame or ridicule — that should give us cause or grief grief deeper even than the joy we felt. At such a time we ought to moderate the happiness which earthly blessings bring. We ought, as the proverb says, to mix water with our wine.”

–John Calvin, Sermons on the Beatitudes, trans. by Robert White (Carlisle, PA.: Banner of Truth, 1562/2006), p. 80.

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