Is Christianity Hard or Easy?
As I near the end of CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Lewis poses the question “Is Christianity hard, or is it easy?” In the Bible Jesus states that it is very difficult, yet He also states that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It seems paradoxical, doesn’t it. But Lewis argues that Christianity is actually both easy and hard.
You see, for man to be good on his own, he will wind up either completely spent and disgruntled because people do not acknowledge his efforts more, or he will realize that it requires so much of himself that he will give up on trying to be good. In short, being truly good is impossible under our own power. We can only truly be good in all areas of our life when we allow God to do it in us. And we do not just follow what He says to do. We have to give ourselves completely to Him and let Him be in control. We are not “good” by ourselves and we cannot produce truly good works on our own. Lewis likens it to a field of grass trying to produce wheat. It cannot be done unless someone tears up the soil and re-seeds it with wheat.
But Christianity is not about being good. It is about drawing people to God. This is why He created us. Not so that we could be “good people,” but so that we could draw people into a relationship with Him. This is why Christianity exists, and this is why it is both.
Christianity is hard because it requires us to give complete control of our lives to God. No human wants to do that, we all want to have even a little control over what we do. But it is easy because this is all God asks. It is so much easier than trying to do it on our own. It is impossible to produce “good lives” or to draw people to God on our own. It is hard to give up control of our lives to God. And it is easy in that there is only one thing to do, and only one responsibility to Christianity. Give your all to God, and let Him work in you.
There is a great quote that I want to leave you with from page 199:
” In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.”