Today, I finished Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Finally, It’d been a year or so since the last time I’d started it. So, what stuck out to me the most?
Probably Book III, chapter 9. Here’s an excerpt (Kindle Edition, so no page numbers. Sorry!):
“I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted Him to do, and we should be obliged if he would now leave us alone. As we say ‘I never expected to be a saint, I only wanted to be a decent ordinary chap.’ And we imagine when we say this that we are being humble…. We may be content to remain what we call ‘ordinary people’: but He is determined to carry out a quite different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility: it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience.”
Basically, Lewis is saying that plenty of men and women in the Christian church are content just to be decent people leading decent lives. But being a disciple of Christ doesn’t simply equate to being a “nice person”. In fact, we’re called to be perfection. Check out 1 Peter 1:15-16:
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”~1 Peter 15-16
But how can we possibly be perfect? All of us have already screwed up (e.g. lied, cheated, did something hurtful to others or ourselves, etc.). It’s impossible, right? Why can’t God just accept us for who we are? Can’t we just go on living life comfortably?
Not if we’re really a serious about being a disciple of Christ! It sounds harsh, but people who just want to be “good enough” value their own comfort and desires more than the desires of God. Their hearts are not aligned with His. As Lewis had pointed out in the excerpt above, they’re cowards.
God has a much greater plan for us than we could ever dream up ourselves, but it will be painful getting there. Perfection may be impossible to attain here on earth, but God will bring us to that point in the end if we will let Him work in us:
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” ~Matthew 19:26
I guess this is one of the reason’s why I started writing this blog. I wanted to start doing more with my free time than simply passing time by watching Netflix, playing games, and reading. Heck, this blog is only a baby step in the right direction, and I would be amiss to stop here.
The question for me – and for you – is this: Do I make excuses for how I live my life by telling myself that I’m “good enough already”? I do. The desires of my heart have been largely self-focused, and I desperately need a realignment. This is my prayer for the year, that God would put me through the fire to make me more the man he planned me to be.
What about you?