Every once in a while words echo back from history and smack me in the face. This week it was from beloved mentor-passed-on, C.S. Lewis, by way of K-Love radio. (Don’t judge me!)
In chapter seven of Mere Christianity, Lewis posits this (Be warned, the question conceals a dagger!):
“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 are 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.”
Flesh wound for you? Staple-worthy laceration? Stephen King levels of spurting blood?
I’m cut because I’m guilty. I don’t have a lot of enemies, but I relish my opponents looking bad. I want them pushed away, dehumanized. I don’t like it when I do this.
Neither do I like it when it’s done to Muslims. In the heady, early days of ISIS, do you remember reading, “Finally, they’re showing their hand. Finally we see them for what they are.” Did you hear it in your own head?
I have no right, and certainly no wish, to judge you, nor anyone for that matter. Neither am I scolding. But I want to examine and excise this thinking in my own life and invite you, to whatever degree the Holy Spirit points it out for you, to join me.
If Lewis is right, I want to get off the road to devil-hood and walk the way of Jesus.