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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Be Ye Perfect"

"I find a good many people have been bothered by. . .our Lord's words, 'Be ye perfect.' Some people seem to think this means 'Unless you are perfect, I will not help you'; and as we cannot be perfect, then, if He meant that our position is hopeless. But I do not think He did mean that. I think He meant, 'The only hope I will give is help to become perfect. You may want something less: but I will give you nothing less.'
"When I was a child I often had a toothache, and I knew that if I went to my mother she would give me something which would deaden the pain for that night and let me get to sleep. But I did not go to my mother--at least, not till the pain became very bad. And the reason I did not go was this. I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin; but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more, which I did not want. I wanted immediate relief from pain: but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. . .Now if I may put it that way, our Lord is like the dentists. . .Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of. . .or which is obviously spoiling daily life. . .Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment."

~C. S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity 

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