Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Natural gifts carry with them a ... danger.  If you have sound nerves
and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you
are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is.  "Why
drag God into it?" you may ask ... Often people who have all these
natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognise their need
for Christ at all until, one day, the natural goodness lets them down
and their self-satisfaction is shattered.  In other words, it is hard
for those who are "rich" in this sense to enter the Kingdom.
"It is very different for the nasty people - the little, low, timid,
warped, thin-blooded, lonely people, or the passionate, sensual,
unbalanced people.  If they make any attempt at goodness at all, they
learn, in double quick time, that they need help.  It is Christ or
nothing for them....
"There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of
us.  If you are a nice person - if virtue comes easily to you -
beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given.  If you
mistake for your own merits what are really God's gifts to you through
nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still
a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible
... The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far
above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.
"But if you are a poor creature - poisoned by a wretched up-bringing
in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels -
saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual
perversion - nagged day in and day out by an inferiority comple that
makes you snap at your best friends - do not dispair.  He knows all
about it.  You are one of the poor whom He blessed.  He knows what a
wetched machine you are trying to drive.  Keep on.  Do what you can.
One day (perhaps in another world, perhaps far sooner than that) he
will fling it on the scrapheap and give you a new one."      -  CS

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