A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something—some Real Morality—for them to be true about (p.13).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Our language condemns us. But I am not referring to Luke 6:45, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Nor am I referring to James 3:2, “For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
Our language condemns us before we speak (or think) of anything rude, inappropriate, or blasphemous. Our language is filled with words of comparison (those ending in “-er” or “-est”), beauty, power, and significance. All of these types of words assume a standard and our awe reveals that we fall short of that standard.
The saddest part of this is that in our extremely self-centered culture we see this and retreat into shame, insecurity, and defensiveness. Instead the response should be one of celebration and self-forgetfulness.
We were given eyes not so that we could enjoy mirrors, but so that we could take in the glory of God. We were given consciences not so that we could become defense attorneys, but so that we could echo “Amen!” to God’s character.
The tragedy of our day is that we view truth (or any sense of standard) as our enemy. We have forgotten John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” because we think the truth is first and foremost about us. IT’S NOT! Praise God!
Truth is the revelation of God. Because of our sinful nature we have grown to fear/resent what we were meant to fear/love. When we refuse to be humble we begin to view our only hope as our condemnation. We run from the only exit in a burning building and think we are wise (“enlightened”) for having done so.
The challenge of this post is to consider how we use our language of comparison. Do we live life constantly asking, “Do I matter? Am I good enough? Am I significant?” If we do, then truth (any sense of standard that creates awe) will be our emotional enemy.
Rather, let us strive to live with truth, beauty, power, and significance as the all-satisfying destination of our life-long journey; something we know we will only attain after reaching our point of greatest weakness and decay (death). It is only that sense of process by grace and eternity that will allow to embrace an “er” language without succumbing to shame, insecurity, and defensiveness.