The proverbs, sayings and expressions related to the word heaven could well be the star of a collection of books that could well be divided into two large blocks, the meteorological proverb and the allusive to God. From this last group we rescue the locution “to have heaven won” or “to earn heaven”.

It can be said that someone has won heaven when they stoically endure a hazardous or unpleasant situation, from the company of an undesirable person to an uncomfortable circumstance. You have to be good or have unwavering patience to earn heaven.

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines the verbal locution “to earn someone heaven” as “to be worthy of praise and admiration for their self-sacrifice or suffering”. It is clear that for a person to deserve to be described with that expression, they must have had a hard time.

And it is that not everyone can earn heaven, at least from a religious point of view. For a Christian to gain access to the kingdom of heaven, the first thing he must do is comply with the 10 commandments that God wrote with his finger on two stone tablets and then delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai with thunder. The objective of following the decalogue is not only to live freed from the slavery of sin, but also to gain access to eternal life.

In short: to earn heaven you have to believe in God, faithfully follow all his teachings, acting out of love and avoiding temptations and, finally, eat his flesh and drink his blood.

From the point of view of phraseology, it doesn’t take so much suffering to win heaven. In fact, it is enough to be good or patient. Other expressions that can be used as equivalent to this are “to be a saint”, “to be a heaven”, “to be better than bread” or “to be a piece of bread”.

The religious origin of the phrase seems obvious, although it is difficult to locate when it began to be used colloquially. As said at the beginning, the word sky is very present in the Spanish proverb and in the dictionary of expressions of the RAE. Serve as these buttons show:

Some of the above phrases already appear in the Vocabulario de refranes y frases proverbiales by Gonzalo Correas, published in 1627. Let’s see some examples of expressions with heaven that were already used 400 years ago: “Whoever has a good husband is not sure of heaven “; “What is ordered in heaven, must be fulfilled on earth”; “Much to know about the sky, and little to know about the ground”; “Never pride ascended to heaven”; “Whoever shoots arrows at the sky, they return to his head”.

However, the fact that the expression “to have heaven won” does not appear in the work of Gonzalo Correas does not mean that its origin is after the publication of the vocabulary.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project