The Weight of Glory

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare."
C.S. Lewis ~ The Weight of Glory
One of the more interesting things about Christian theology is the concept of the devil. Most people think of him dressed in red tights, with a pointed tail, horns and a beard; and a pitchfork.

But actually the devil is immensely beautiful. He was one of God’s greatest accomplishments. He was smarter, more creative, more charming than we can imagine. And even after the fall, his outward beauty never diminished. Nor did his creativity, intellect or charm.

It’s a difficult thing to wrap our minds around, that the personification of evil would be contained in a thing of beauty and brilliance. And yet when you think about the concept of temptation, it makes sense. If you really did live in a world where you were being silently opposed, prodded, tempted to do things that weren’t in your best interest, you’d probably trip up a lot less if your tempter was ugly.

I think one of the points of that story is that a lot of the things we think are good can be very bad for us. Hard work can be good. Hard work that leaves your family lonely and your life out of balance is not. Money can be good. Money as an end to itself, or used to buy another BMW when there are families living in tents outside the city, less so. Beauty can be good, but beauty that is used as a tool to manipulate, or as a basis for exclusion, is certainly not good.

C.S. Lewis talks about how one of the best ways to tell people a lie is with the truth. And while we live in a world of broken economies, broken families and broken lives, it’s hard to find the culprits, the ones who cause all the pain. That’s because the culprits aren’t wearing red tights and holding pitchforks. It’s actually pretty hard to find people who are overtly evil and ugly and mean. Most of the bad stuff that happens in the world is the result of lies masked with the truth.
From Blog
intentionally - live on purpose

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