Monday, October 31, 2011

What reading newspapers tells us about forgiveness

nationalenquirersarahpalinThe real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything—God and our friends and ourselves included—as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

Quotes from Mere Christianity, Part 51
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins 2001) 118.


  1. Too often, we measure ourselves our actions and thoughts  by the behavior of  others in  a  attempts at self-justification.
     Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By
    judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace
    which others are just as entitled to as ourselves.   Bonhoeffer-The Cost of

  2. Excellent quote, Bret.
    Welcome to Mere C.S. Lewis.