C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity: Analysis and Application Part XIII, Lewis and Charity

Lewis’ discussion on charity is captivating and simple. It is in essence the summary of the law. Love is that great attribute of God that spurs us to love others and to obey God. This point is worth stressing. Love is never meant to be set in contrast to obedience. Love as John Murray once wrote is “feeling that impels to action… if it does not impel to the fulfillment of the law, it is not the love of which the Scriptures her speak.”[1]If ever charity leads to disobedience, then it has betrayed its Biblical purpose.

Love impels to action, but to be overly introspective about whether we love is unnecessary. Since all our thoughts and actions will be in some way marred with our corrupt natures, the remedy to love is to love. As Lewis writes:

Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbour, act as if you did.[2]

This is similar to the gospel account of the father who asked two sons to accomplish a certain task. One said he would, but did not. The other said he would not, but he did. Who in the end fulfilled the command to love? The one who did. Whether his initial response was erroneous, that is beside the point. The actual proof of love is that he did do it.

When husbands wonder if they love their wives properly and yet do nothing about, they are being foolish. Instead of thinking, do some lovely thing, buy some flowers, take her to a nice restaurant, and spend time with her. If we men consider all the time we spend thinking about how to love, we have wasted royal time.

Some will choose to hate (whether out of their depraved nature or satanic influence) and will never taste of how great it is to love. According to Lewis this is a deadly cycle:

The more cruel you are the more you will hate; and the more you hate, the more cruel you will become—and so on in a vicious circle for ever.[3]

According to Titus, hate is descriptive of our former nature[4] and should not resemble our Spirit-led lives. If indeed hate resides within us, we are to seek deep repentance.


[1] John Murray, Principles of Conduct, pg. 22.

[2] Mere Christianity, pg. 116.

[3] Lewis, 117.

[4] Titus 3:3.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in C.S. Lewis, Christian Living, Ethics, Family, Titus. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity: Analysis and Application Part XIII, Lewis and Charity

  1. Theresa Crouch says:

    I would like 2 learn more on love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s