When we become Christians do we become better than other people? It’s certainly the accusation most non-Christians level at Christians. Arrogant, holier-than-thou people who make the world a worse place rather than a better one. At church recently, the speaker asked: are we better than other people if we’re Christians? The answer he gave was really helpful; we’re not better than other people but we’re better than we would be without Jesus.
This reminded me of a fantastic quote by C.S. Lewis. He was being asked questions by the Electrical and Musical Industries Christian Fellowship in 1944 – whoever they were?
One of the questions was: Are there any unmistakable outward signs in a person surrendered to God? Would he be cantankerous? Would he smoke?
The answer he gave:
Take the sour old maid, who is a Christian, but cantakerous. On the other hand, take some pleasant and popular fellow, but who has never been to church. Who knows how much more cantankerous the old maid might be if she were not a Christian, and how much more likeable the nice fellow might be if he were a Christian? You can’t judge Christianity simply by comparing the product in those two people; you would need to know what kind of raw material Christ was working on in both cases.
Taken from: C.S. Lewis – Essay Collection and other short pieces. Harper Collins, 2000.
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