“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really 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.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
C.S. Lewis’s words have been my company this weekend because I’ve read him so much that he’s like a father to me. I leaned into him while I worked. He has an unparalleled way of articulating his thoughts. After reading him, it’s almost ridiculous to think I should keep on writing. Why should I write anything when the world has Lewis’ words? But perhaps my words could in some way be a bridge to him—the way he has been a bridge for me to so many authors I wouldn’t have read otherwise like George McDonald , G.K. Chesterton and John Milton. What if Lewis had said, “Well, maybe I shouldn’t write because the world has Homer and Milton.”
So, I kept on tapping the keyboard.
And he’s so right, too. We need not try so hard to be original. We just need to tell the truth.
With our art and with our lives.
Tell the truth.
But truth-telling is dangerous because if you give it an inch, it’ll take you over.
You begin to know truth in one corner of your heart and it takes like wildfire.
Pretty soon, all the lies you’ve been harboring about yourself and your life will crumble right down, in a heap of ashes.
And at that very point, when you’re tempted to despair, remember Lewis’ words,
” Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.”
The Father of all truth will take your ruins—your ash heap of pride, pretense, selfish ambition, greed, hatred and hopelessness—and He will make the great exchange.
He will give you life. He will teach you humility. He will make you generous. He will make you selfless. He will give you hope.
He will raise you up and make you blessed.
You will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.
If you haven’t read Mere Christianity , don’t delay—I can’t think of a better way to start the week. Or the month. Or the year.
Are you afraid to be who you really are? Have you insulated yourself from truth to protect your house of cards?
Your courage to step into the light might be the nudge someone else needs.
What is one thing you can do today to inch closer to truth.
What’s holding you back from finding ‘your real, new self’?
(I’m asking myself all the same, difficult questions. I’d love to talk about it in the comments.)