A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad (p. 198-199).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
It may be hard for a boy to become man. It may be hard for a student to become a teacher. It may be hard for a convert to become a missionary. It may be hard for a sinner to become a saint. When we begin a sentence with, “It may be hard for a…” we often get distracted from the question, “Is it necessary?”
That is the point to which Lewis is returning our attention.
What happens when an egg fails to become a bird, a boy fails to become a man, a students fails to become a teacher, a convert does not become a missionary, or a sinner does not become a saint? The glory of God’s creation rots in stagnation to the destruction of His worship and our good.
The call of God upon an egg is, “Change or perish.” Is this because God hates eggs? No. God loves eggs and wants there to be more eggs. In order for this to happen each generation of eggs must resist the temptation to be lazy, and instead become birds. As birds, every egg will multiply itself many times over.
What is the call of God upon every person? “Change or perish.” Is this because God is mean? No. God loves people and wants boys to have fathers and students to have teachers. Ultimately, God wants every lost person to have a missionary and every convert to have a discipler.
In order for this to happen each generation of people must resist the temptation to be lazy and mature in their walk with Christ. As this happens, every Christian should multiply him/herself many times over.
What is the alternative? Is it possible to go on being an egg? No. Good eggs have a lifespan. If they delay they can no longer be a “good egg.” They become good for nothing; life or food.
Similarly, adolescence has a life span. Immaturity in children is cute; in adults, it is offensive and condemnable. They can no longer be called a “good person,” innocent, or merely uninformed. They become a drain on everyone who cares for them.
What about a Christian? The Bible speaks clearly to this in Hebrews 5:11-6:6.
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
If you read this passage and worry about your salvation, that is like asking how much longer you can be a “good egg” before you turn into a “bad egg.” Even if you get an answer, it doesn’t help you become a bird. It merely distracts you, and, thereby, keeps you in the nest.
Whether you are a boy needing to become a man, a convert needing to be a missionary, or a sinner needing to become a saint, take the warning and stop asking questions that keep you passive (another word for immaturity). Give yourself fully to God, His Word, and His people and grow.