Resisting temptation – C.S. Lewis

Oct 16, 2014
1 min read

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of [an] army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Came across the quote from a guest post by Kurt Francom of LeadingLDS on This Week in Mormons:


  1. Richard J. Nobbe III

    I love the article “Sin Does Not Make Us Stronger.” This is something that everyone needs to read and understand. Being in a telestial world affords us the opportunities to learn and grow, but it is through our agency – actually how we USE our agency that will determine progression or regression. Obeying the will of God will always bring us closer to Him, while disobeying the will of God will always have the opposite action.

    Don’t you just love C.S. Lewis? If you take out the ancient prophets, the Savior, and Joseph Smith, he’s probably the most quoted “General Authority” in the church.

    • I love Mere Christianity and the Screwtape Letters, I think Lewis has a really great perspective on a lot of things. He’s good “neutral ground” in many ways for a variety of different denominations, because he tends to focus more on principles than applications in my opinion.

      • Richard J. Nobbe III

        That’s an interesting observation. I’ve never thought of it that way. It’s just amazing to me that reading a book like Mere Christianity is almost like reading Talmage in that it speaks with a certain direct authenticity that you don’t get from a lot of non-LDS authors.

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