Saturday, March 9, 2019 -
Today, I would just like to bring your attention to some quotes I found quite excellent form C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, a book I have just read for the first time this week: “I think this is the right moment to consider a question which is often asked: If Christianity is true, why are not all Christians obviously nicer than all non-Christians? What lies behind that question is partly something very reasonable and partly something that is not reasonable at all. The reasonable part is this – If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man’s outward actions – if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before – then I think we must suspect that his ‘conversion’ was largely imaginary and after one’s original conversion, every time one thinks one has made an advance, that is the test to apply. Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in ‘religion’ mean nothing unless they make our actual behavior better; just as in an illness, ‘feeling better’ is not much good if the thermometer shows your temperature is still going up. In that sense, the outer world is quite right to judge Christianity by its results. Christ told us to judge by results. A tree is known by its fruit; or as we say, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. When we Christians behave badly or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.
“…To become new men means losing what we now call ‘ourselves’…The principle runs through all like from top to bottom. Give yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end; submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will really be yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him, everything else thrown in.”