C.S. Lewis’ Perspective on the Greatest Commandment

I tried to gather Lewis’ thoughts concerning the greatest commandment, as put forth in his book Mere Christianity (I hope I don’t butcher his 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 (and He often does), 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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