Reflections on “Screwtape Letters” 2

All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily, are still in our favor.” p.25

“Work hard, then, on the disappointment of anti-climax which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a churchman…In any department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspirations to laborious doing.” p.26-27

As Christians, saints as we are, we still have the notion that we are still very much under the influence of sin. That is why saint Paul calls for us to put off the old self and pun on the new, which is Christ.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I am somewhat amused with the talk about the victorious Christian life perspective. They take a stance which is all too narrow in a sense. The implication that we are to put off and put on talks about discipline. And with all talk about discipline it then implies that there is the notion of struggle happening in the process. Walking daily putting on Christ is not something that comes naturally. It is a constant daily decision that we undertake. There is no talk of shallow romanticism here. What it does tell us is that commitment is not the byproduct of sweeping emotional highs but rather, hard tireless work. Commitment is love coming full circle.

So, do you struggle in putting on Christ? Do not despair if you fail sometimes. If you do have that sense that you struggle, and your consciousness is tearing you in your mind, it might be the indication that your love is budding into what it is supposed to be; commitment. Something that has substance and not shallow. If on the other hand you are not tormented with the feeling of struggle, then I think your contentment is leading your love has all turned stale.

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