Monday, March 8, 2010

Weak Things Made Strong

When C. S. Lewis was young his tutor was an intelligent, straight forward man (Lewis called him the Great Knock) who didn’t allow small talk. Anything Lewis said was questioned, challenged, and scrutinized. Lewis loved this and it developed in him the great ability to rationally analyze and discover truth. However, as Lewis grew older he did the same things to others that the Great Knock had done to him; he refused to tolerate unsubstantiated opinions or irrational thought even in social settings. Needless to say, not all people appreciated being cross examined in this way, and Lewis didn’t realize how offensive this was. In short, he often upset people with whom he was conversing.

As He converted to Christianity, however, he began to realize how wrong it was to treat other people in such a demeaning way. One of his biographers, who knew Lewis well, says of this, “but at last he was able to turn it to glorious use, when the silliest dinner-table remark could be taken by him and manipulated gently and followed to conclusions of which you had never dreamed—and yet leaving you with the warm glow of undeserved pride at having initiated such a profoundly interesting discussion” (C. S. Lewis, Green and Hooper, p. 42).

This reminds me of the verse of scripture found in Ether 12:27; “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

If we, like Lewis, recognize our weaknesses and then ask “How can I make something good out of this?”, the Lord will help and guide us to change our weaknesses into strengths.


amanda said...

love this, love CS lewis. thanks for the reminder that i need to read his biography! go team. happy 2nd week of march!!

Wendi said...

That is in my top five scripture passages ever. I'm so thankful for that promise and I feel like it's one of the greatest blessings that comes from the Atonement. :)

Jenny said...

I love CS Lewis! Thanks for the reminder that we can turn bad things into good things, if we try.

Dani said...

Just as we often don't even see our weakness (or how some of our words or actions hurt others), Heavenly Father shows us just enough of our weakness at one time that we don't feel that it is hopeless to even try to become better. I remember being very young thinking I was doing pretty good in keeping the commandments. Now that I am older I realize how far I have to go to become the saint that I want to be, but that as I turn to Heavenly Father, He helps me one step at a time. I don't have to do it all today!
And I remember the first time someone told me that they were amazed at how patient I was; I was so shocked because that had always been one of my greatest weaknesses. Even with patience I know I have a long ways to go, but I have come a long ways also :).