Natural gifts carry with them a…danger …

“Natural gifts carry with them a…danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask…Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until, one day, the natural goodness lets them down and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are “rich” in this sense to enter the Kingdom.

It is very different for the nasty people—the little, low, timid, warped, thin-blooded, lonely people, or the passionate, sensual, unbalanced people. If they make any attempt at goodness at all, they learn, in double quick time, that they need help. It is Christ or nothing for them….

There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of us. If you are a nice person—if virtue comes easily to you—beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible….The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.

But if you are a poor creature—poisoned by a wretched up-bringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels—saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion—nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends—do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrapheap and give you a new one.”

– C. S. Lewis

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The terrible thing …

“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self— all your wishes and precautions— to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way– centered on money or pleasure or ambition— and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown.”

C. S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”.

When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be …

“When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy. Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted.”

– C. S. Lewis

A Note on The Law of Undulation (written by me).

A Note Before the Actual Note: The following was originally posted as a comment (yes, it’s a long comment) by me on a social media site as a response to someone’s post but I
think it could benefit people here who may read it, hopefully. Those who aren’t familiar with The Law of Undulation, just read the whole long note/comment, hopefully it will be clear enough by the end, it’s not too difficult a thing to grasp; if not, read the suggested book which is where the thing I wrote about is from and much better explained than my attempts through a note, I’m sure. May you benefit by reading the below note and the suggested book (maybe try to read the chapter(s) that talk about the Law), and may God be glorified through this little work of writing I did for the benefit of others.

The Law of Undulation is at work in every life. Peaks and troughs, ups and down, highs and lows, are experienced by each at one time or another, the only difference being maybe the duration of a peak/high or trough/low point, usually it’s the low that lasts longer for people.
The infant days of the new convert/believer are usually the highest points, can be described as the happiest times, when their zeal burns hot and it seems at the time that it may last forever. They do not know or weren’t told that this initial peak/high point won’t last until death, the Law of Undulation will be at work, it’s a sort of back and forth between ups and downs in every life, but the thing too many may believe or want is for the lows/troughs to not even come/occur which is frankly impossible so they try to extend the peak time but to try to remain at a constantly high point in life/on the mountain isn’t the way anyone lives, it’s a sort of overoptimistic state that is desired by those who just want to be happy here all the time, to see smooth roads and clear paths in life free of difficulties and consider the slightest interruptions and problems as their cross, wrongly.
They want what they can’t get; our life wasn’t designed to be all roses and flowers on a smooth and clear path from conversion to death; the ups and downs will come and the must not be seen as the work of the enemy though the enemy likes to use these times against believers to manipulate or corrupt them.
These times must be seen as part of life and a means of balancing life lest they become unbalanced in one or the other direction which would throw us off the right state of living into an overoptimistic high or pessimistic low.
We shouldn’t fear when the troughs/lows come but use them as a means to grow in that valley of struggles and trials and suffering, to seek God and His will more fervently, to use lows as a way to trust in God more, to grow in faith, for the furnace of affliction will melt us down and refine us into what the Lord desires us to become and what we are presently not.
When we are on the hills and mountains, at some high point in life when all seems well and we feel happy, we must take care lest we let the enemy manipulate us then and there to ignore others and their needs when we have ours met for the time. If we’re happy and desire to continue to be happy for as long as we can by any means, we fall into a trap, for we must not seek happiness as an end itself or happiness over holiness, or to want to be happy more than to love our neighbors.
There must be a balance to everything in our life, an equilibrium, a healthy middle which will keep us from falling into either extreme which will put our life out of right state into what it wasn’t meant to be. We must praise the Lord for all the blessings and rejoice in all that He has given whether we’re at a low or high point in our life, for a thankless heart withers and neglecting to praise the One who sustains us every moment is frankly a crime for we all owe our very existence to God and to not be grateful for all the good we receive is an insult, irreverence, an action out of place when considering who we are in comparison to our God.
Welcome the peaks and troughs, believers, but know that . Don’t seek to stay too long on the peaks for you must eventually go down into the valley for there you shall meet what will challenge you and lead to growth if you accept it as part of the growth process used by the Lord to shape us into who we should become and not what the world would have us be.

To learn more about the Law of Undulation, read C. S. Lewis’s “Screwtape Letters”, or just Google it but read the Christian version of it. My explanation of it here isn’t the same as Lewis’s, mine contains more of my own opinions and sort of logical conclusions and elaborations but I hope I haven’t changed the essential meaning of the thing, I just wanted to share something that I think every Christian, especially the new believers, should learn about, for it is a helpful thing for those who are ignorant of it and an encouragement to those who are familiar with it.

What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors …

“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created
themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has
come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to
find something other than God which will make him happy.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
from “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis.