Long way round…shortest way home

This is too good not to share.  Chapter 3 of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis talks about Social Morality.  One of the points made  in this chapter is that charity – giving to the poor – is an essential part of Christian morality.  Among other things he points out the need to be giving to the poor is more than generosity, ie tipping, hospitality, more to helping those who really need help.  This giving is to the point that it affects our ability to purchase items classified luxury, comfort, amusements, etc.  For most of us that is a stretch!

Also dealt with is the importance of living debt-free.  He notes that three great civilizations agreed that money should not be lent for interest.  Ancient Greece, Jewish law, and Christian teachers of the Middle Ages all told us not to lend money at interest; and lending money at interest— what we call investment–is the basis of our whole system.  So why are we surprised at the recent turn of events.  We have been amply warned throughout history of its dangers, we disregarded and created the stock exchange!! Something novel???  Would it be too much to say that if we lived debt free we would be enabled to give to the poor?

But that is a very simple summary of some complex and highly stimulating reading.  What I want to share is this.  C.S.Lewis states:

There are bits in this section that I wanted to leave out.  And that is why nothing whatever is going to come of such talks unless we go a much longer way round.  A Christian society is not going to arrive until most of us really want it: and we are not going to want it until we become fully Christian.  I may repeat “Do as you would be done by,” till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbor as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him.  And so, as I warned you, we are driven on to something more inward–driven on from social matters to religious matters.  For the longest way round is the shortest way home.

To conclude then, we cannot be put off by those who want nothing to do with ‘religion’ and must continue to strive to be real in our living our beliefs based on the Scripture we read and share.  This is more than ritual, or even belief, it is living life as obedient children of the Most High God.

2 thoughts on “Long way round…shortest way home

  1. Powerful stuff, Gracie. His comment, “…giving to the poor is more than generosity, ie tipping, hospitality, …” really hit home with me and brought me under conviction. Wow. To live what he is saying. Lord, help me. Please.

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