Nice People or New Men
The penultimate chapter of Mere Christianity is here! And it is a lengthy one. In fact, I did not look back at the table of contents, but this may just be the longest chapter in the book. And though the chapter is long, I am only going to share briefly on its contents.
Lewis spends much of the chapter talking about how Christianity is judged by its people (naturally). Often we play the comparison game and put up a bad example of a Christianity against a “good person” who does not follow Christ. But in reality this is a bad way to judge. God allows people to grow up in different environments and take on different temperaments. The real test is whether or not Christianity has made a difference in how a person lives compared to before they became a believer. We are all a work in progress, and there are some who did not truly allow God into their life and so it is no surprise that they have not changed. It is dangerous and damaging to play this comparison game, and for those of us who are Christians this is all the more reason to step up and live a life pleasing to God. There is no good reason to give the world reason to doubt God’s power and His work in this world.
In the end, being nice, or simply a better person are not the goal God has in mind. It is turning to Him and drawing others to Him. This should be our concern. I leave you with a quote from page 207.
“He meant what He said. Those who put themselves in His hands will become perfect, as He is perfect – perfect in love, wisdom, joy, beauty and immortality. The change will not be completed in this life, for death is an important part of the treatment. How far the change will have gone before death in any particular Christian is uncertain.”
Have you ever struggled with comparing Christians to the rest of the world? Or even Christians to one another?