Friday, January 14, 2011

Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief

IntiWatanaRappel You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it? The same with people. For years I would have said that I had perfect confidence in B.R. Then came the moment when I had to decide whether I would or would not trust him with a really important secret. That threw quite a new light on what I called my ‘confidence’ in him. I discovered that there was no such thing. Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (London: Faber and Faber, 1961), 20-21.


  1. Great to see this quoted in the film, God's Not Dead, more than 50 years later and after Symes called attention to it. Fundamentally, the concept is the plot line.

  2. Very interesting. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.