A relentless love

But the great thing to remember is, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

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Virtues

After every failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

Feeling bad about being bad?

When a person is getting better they understand more and more clearly the evil that is still left in them. When a person is getting worse they understand their own badness less and less. A moderately bad person knows they are not very good: a thoroughly bad person thinks they are all right. This is common sense, really.

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

Related:

Reblog: The Mystery of Original Sin | Christianity Today

God is not a boundary around the edges of our lives, a limit to our abilities that we are always striving to surpass. Nor, we might add, is he the keeper of a boundary imposed by legalists who think we can be changed through an ever more encompassing set of rules. He belongs in the center. Were God merely an outer boundary, we would be left with an inner boundlessness, an emptiness at the heart of things—left, that is, without any true organizing center for our lives. It is only when our relationship of glad obedience to God governs everything that we will be truly free. Then we will find no need for a boundary at all. The more we find ourselves needing to shore up boundaries, or feeling driven to escape them, the surer we may be that something is wrong at the center.

The whole article is worth a read: The Mystery of Original Sin | Christianity Today.

I’m glad I came across this article. Lately I’ve found myself scrabbling for ‘balance’. This is something I revert to whenever my faith is in crisis; when I realise I’m wandering but am in denial about it. I try to find a ‘balance’ between my faith life and my life life, often unconsciously (but often consciously, too). I try to set ‘boundaries’ for my faith: finish the Christian to-do list (Scripture, devotion time, prayer), so I can have the rest of the day “off God”. As if that’s possible, or real faith.

And then the Holy Spirit chipped in and told me (outside a municipal office, of all places), ‘It’s not about balance, it’s about infusion.’ We compartmentalize faith: it’s just one box of many (‘marriage’, ‘kids’, ‘school’, ‘work’, ‘friends’). But in reality, of course, it’s not a box, it’s the storage space. Everything else should fit into it.

This reminds me of something I read in Mere Christianity:

The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see…

What simple, profound principle has the Holy Spirit been leading you back to?

Behind enemy lines

Enemy-occupied territory–that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, ‘Do you really mean, at this time of day, to reintroduce our old friend the devil–hoofs and horns and all?’ Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is ‘Yes, I do.’ I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person, ‘Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will. Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.’

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

Inspirational quotes: quick 5

God will look at every soul like its first love because He is its first love. — @CSLewisDaily

If we accept heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell. — @CSLewisDaily

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. — @CSLewisDaily

Don’t fall in love with the blessings. Fall in love with the Blessor! — @PassionNetwork

If you really want to know God, be willing to spend time and energy seeking Him. — @PassionNetwork

Inspiring Quotes

Prayer

When you least expect it, something happens that makes you realize that God’s up to something. We serve an awesome God. —@Godstagram

If God answers your prayers, He is increasing your faith. If He doesn’t, He is training your patience. —@Godstagram

Prayer is not designed to change God; it is designed to change us. –Richard Blackaby (via @iamnotafan)

A concentrated mind and a sitting body make for better prayer than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep. —@CSLewisDaily

Good things come to those who pray. —@Godstagram

Have you asked God what you can do for Him today? Instead of giving God a list of what He can do for you today, ask what you can do for Him. —@JoyceMeyer

Life

God does not make bad people, people make bad decisions. —@Godstagram

If I have a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the explanation is – I was made for another world. —@CSLewisDaily

Wisdom has two parts: 1. having a lot to say 2. not saying it. —@Godstagram

Which is worse: the pain of change or the pain of never changing? –-@JoyceMeyer

You know it’s a problem when you start rationalising it. —@greigski

Relationships

If God takes someone out of your life he did it for a reason, stop looking back trying to put them back in it. —@Godstagram

God loves us too much to allow us to stay tied to anyone or anything that does not bring out the best in us. —@Godstagram

If you place your heart in God’s hand, He will place your heart in the hands of a worthy person. —@Godstagram

Don’t let one bad apple ruin the fruit of your relationship. —@NightlyNoodle

Fake it till you make it

“Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already.” –CS Lewis

 

The road to Hell

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
–CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Coming in out of the wind

The ordinary idea which we all have before we become Christians is this. We take as the starting point our ordinary self with its various desires and interests. We then admit that something else — call it “morality” or “decent behaviour”, or “the good of society” — has claims on this self: claims which interfere with its own desires. What we mean by “being good” is giving in to those claims. Some of the things the ordinary self wanted to do turn out to be what we call “wrong”: well, we must give them up. Other things turn out to be what we call “right”: well, we shall have to do them.

But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes. In fact, we are very much like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on. Because we are still taking our natural self as the starting point.

As long as we are thinking that way, one or the other of two results is likely to follow. Either we give up trying to be good, or else we become very unhappy indeed…

The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self — all your wishes and precautions — to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call “ourselves”, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be “good”… And that is exactly what Christ warned us not to do.

That is why the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.

— CS Lewis