27 Lessons (Not Dresses :p) from ‘Mere Christianity’

A couple weeks ago I decided to reread C.S. Lewis’ ‘Mere Christianity.’ It turned out to be a quality decision. Here is a list of 27 lessons I pulled from the book:

1. Individual personality is found when individual personality is given up to Christ.

2. Christ is not concerned with mere moral improvement, but rather with moral transformation. He doesn’t want a better version of you. He wants a completely new man.

3. We can only keep that which we freely give to God.

4. The Church exists to draw men into Christ — to make little Christs.

5. What a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.

6. “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”

7. The statement ‘God is love’ does not mean ‘Love is God.’

8. If Christianity is merely good advice, it is of no importance and should be tossed on the shelf with the rest.

9. You don’t trust a person whose advice you never take.

10. “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

11. “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in,’ aim at earth and you will get neither.”

12. Nobody can always have devout feelings for God.

13. Feelings are not what God is chiefly concerned with.

14. Love is an act of the will. “If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God.’ ”

15. Behaving and acting as if you loved God is more important than trying to manufacture devout feelings for Him. For, “When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them.”

16. It is the people who are content with the loss of “thrill” in their lives that are the most thrilled. Pleasant discoveries seem to be behind every door they walk through.

17. Christ is in the process of making believers perfect. “The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.”

18. “Virtue — even attempted virtue — brings light; indulgence brings fog.”

19. Obedience to God precedes love for God, and love for God precedes love for people.

20. “Moral rules are directions for running the human machine.”

21. God is more concerned with our holiness than he is our happiness.

22. “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

23. Atheism is too simple.

24. So is watered down Christianity.

25. Religion (man’s pursuit of God) is like arithmetic. There is only one right answer to a sum. All others answers are wrong.

26. Seeking truth may lead to comfort. Seeking comfort always ends in misery.

27. We’re all forced to believe in a real right and wrong.

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2 Responses to 27 Lessons (Not Dresses :p) from ‘Mere Christianity’

  1. Eric says:

    Good post. Except I’m not sure I agree with # 14. Expound– it’ll make a good discussion.

  2. bzamroz says:

    @Eric – This is my understanding of reflection #14 (and I hope I don’t butcher Lewis’ thought process here):
    The command “You shalt love the Lord Thy God” is impossible, from an emotional standpoint, to completely obey in this lifetime. If we’re honest, our ‘feelings’ of love for God fluctuate. We have no control over them. We are unable to produce feelings of love for God on our own accord, and so we can’t demand them as a right or rely on them in our worship. God will give us strong emotional ties to himself if He pleases, but this is not what He is chiefly concerned with. Love (that is our love for God) becomes an act or state of the will. Therefore, to “Love the Lord Thy God” is a moment-by-moment choice — a conscious decision regardless of our emotions. God is more concerned with our attempt at steadfastness and obedience than He is with the manufacturing of devout feelings toward Him. He might ask, ‘Will they choose to love me even when I don’t give them the emotional sensation?’ Received in this light, it seems as though our continual attempt to Love God (our commitment to Him, our state of abiding in Him, our perseverance in prayer, in study, etc., our steadfastness in trial, our rock-like disposition) becomes the actually, real manifestation of our love for Him. This makes the command to Love God more attainable in this life. However, it might just as easily be that God gave us this command in order to expose our inability to accomplish it outside of His grace. And thus, this command, along with many of Scripture’s other commands and demands, once again drives us to Christ.

    What do you think?

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