A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Quotable C.S. Lewis #17: Love is an Affair of the Will

"Some writers use the word charity to describe not only Christian love between human beings but also God's love for man and man's love for God. About the second of these two, people are often worried. They are told they ought to love God. They cannot find any such feeling in themselves. What are they to do? The answer is the same as before. Act as if you did. Do not sit trying to manufacture feelings. Ask yourself, 'If I was sure that I loved God, what would I do?' When you have found the answer, go and do it."

"On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do his will we are obeying the commandment, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him."

--Mere Christianity

1 comment:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

There are two "conflicts" I see with this assumption in "loving God", assuming God exists, as personal.

1.If one bases their faith on reason, then reason will assess what the will is to do, as what God wants cannot be determined by another, as it is between God and a man's conscience. Personal conscience plays a part in willing the "right", as sometimes there are different principles that do not lead to the same conclusions. This has to do with how one understands what faith is about. The Church throughout the ages, as well as the State have persecuted those who differed in how they viewed their faith, and its convctictions and commitments and how those convictions and commitments were to "play out" in their life.

2.)I do not think that faith is something that should be evaluated by anyone besides the person who desires to "do what is right". We can all reason our way of doing something as the "right" and another's as the "wrong", so it is not about "right and wrong", but about appropriateness, justice, values, etc.

I hope that this connects to this post, as I am really trying to do so.