Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
This has got to be the most inspiring and profound book I have read thus far in my life. Mr. Lewis wrote a very simple, yet thought-provoking view of Christianity. It was basically his understanding of the Christian faith, and how we could incorporate it into our lives here on Earth. I am curious as to how powerful his words were when he first read this book over the radio.
What I really liked was how Mr. Lewis stressed that we cannot view other religions in terms of right or wrong. He seemed to want to encompass all of humanity in the search for meaning in our lives. I notice we as human beings tend to compartmentalize things in terms of "us" and "them." I know I sure did — whether it was with the street gangs, my race, the parts of California I was from, my religion — the list goes on.
I liked so many parts in the book that I found myself stopping numerous times in the middle of reading something, just to reflect and ponder on his words. If I had to pick a favorite part, I would say his thoughts on Pride and his thoughts on our daily Choices were the most influential for me.
Mr. Lewis felt, "Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense." He expressed that we are all guilty of it but will not be willing to admit it; pride is the vice of utmost evil. "It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest." These words really hit home to me. I myself am guilty of being prideful on many occasions of my life. I remember feeling good about myself because I felt at that moment I was better than someone else. As long as I found people that I was "better" than in some way, I was not that bad of a person. But because of this pursuit of continually feeding my pride, I was never content, I was never happy, 1 was never at peace. It was a cancer that ate up my soul.
Which leads to the part on Choices. “I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before.. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, you are slowly turning into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself." There is no way 1 could have paraphrased those words and given them any justice, so I felt it was better to copy verbatim. Those words on choices give me so much inspiration on a daily basis, to suppress my voices of pride and ego, and to slowly turn myself back into a person that is at peace with God, itself, and other human beings. It gives me a sense of hope for the future; although I am a convicted murderer, not all is lost and hopeless – I can slowly transform my soul into back into something that is pleasing to God by my everyday choices from here on out.Purchase The Book