10 Quotes: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

How in the world did I grow up with a well-worn copy of this book at my house and never read it? I’m not sure, but I’m glad I finally did. All those famous quotes are even better when read in the context of the entire book. Here are ten of my favorites (narrowing it down was nearly impossible):

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. (35)

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (36)

He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim. (48)

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive. (66)

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. (70)

Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. (79)

If what you call your ‘faith’ in Christ does not involve taking the slightest notice of what He says, then it is not Faith at all–not faith or trust in Him, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory about Him. (82)

[The devil] always sends errors into the world in pairs–pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. (100)

We must be thankful to all the people who have helped us, we must honour them and love them. But never, never pin your whole faith on any human being: not if he is the best and wisest in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with sand: but do not try building a house on it. (102)

Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will really be yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. (118)

I read this from a big anthology, so if you have the individual book my page numbers probably won’t help you! Get the book here.

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