Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mere Christianity

I recently finished Spencer W. Kimball's, The Miracle of Forgiveness and I'm currently reading Sheri Dew's book, If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard. Both of these books are inspirational and have made me ponder different aspects of my life, helping me to see where improvements should be made in order for me to become more like Christ. I thought I'd share one piece, something that I'm currently working on and have been working on for quite some time, but this quote helped me see it in another more helpful way.

Sheri Dew quoted C.S. Lewis from his book, Mere Christianity, writing "that as we begin to mature spiritually, 'we begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; we begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity. I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to mind is that the provocation [against me] was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth...If there were rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.'"

Before I became a parent, and more specifically a parent of two toddlers, I felt like I was a pretty patient and even- tempered person: I didn't think that was anything that needed to be improved. And just to avoid a misunderstanding, I want you to know that I NEVER and will NEVER hit or use mean language with anyone, child or adult. What I'm referring to is when I get weary from a long day of using self control and patience, I'll sometimes give myself permission(or that's what I think I must be doing) to let up a little of my self control and raise my voice a bit louder, scold and sometimes drag a child to their room for time-out when really I knew better, knew that I could have handled that situation with more love and kindness and respect for the child. So after reading this quote from C.S. Lewis, especially the part(I'm going to repeat it because it was so important to me) which reads:

On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth...If there were rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.'"

I have realized that it's something that I really need to change about myself and that I am going to do. I'm not just going to try, but I really will fix this about myself and I'll fix it now. I don't want something that I know I'm doing wrong but not willing to work hard enough to fix, effect my children in later years, I wouldn't want them to behave as I behave now, I want them to behave better... so I will master that part of me and be an example for them of how a good Christ-like person should be at ALL times and not just when it's convenient or easy for me.

So anyways, these are my thoughts for the day. I'll keep praying for help because I know I can't do this on my own...putting off the natural woman isn't an easy thing to do :).

5 comments:

LINDSAY said...

So I came across your blog awhile back (from a friends) and I just have to say that I really enjoy reading it! I have three kids (the oldest just turned three)!--and it looks to me that yours are almost the same ages of mine. How old is your oldest? In fact, I think our babies are close to the same age--my little girl was born March 1st. When was yours? Her name is actually Elizabeth, so good taste in names :)
I find inspiration reading your blog and realizing that there are other women out there who are going through exactly the same things :) Maybe that's why I like reading it because we kind of have similar lives! Anyways, I hope you don't mind me peaking occassionally. You are welcome to look at my blog--I actually just made it private but you can email me for an invite (if you are even interested)-- geilmans@gmail.com
Thanks for your example!
Lindsay

Ben said...

"The guilt taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center". Consider me cut...But it's true, the kind of man or woman we are is exposed in our reflex reactions.

Robin said...

Thanks for your inspirational posts! They make me want to be better too.

Vanessa said...

Way to go, Elisa. I liked that quote from C.S. Lewis. I know you can meet this new goal of yours. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)

berrymom said...

Oh goodness, I can relate so well. Thank you for posting this because I needed it. I know I give myself permission sometimes to raise my voice or use a more 'superior than thou' tone or drag a child to their room. I ALWAYS feel horrible after I do anything like that. I, too, want to change and your determination has given me some. Thank you!