The self and charity

“The enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and and gratefully as in his neighbour’s talents … He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self love – a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours.” Screwtape Letters, letter 14.

After reading this it struck me that applying to yourself a stricter standard for righteousness than you would for another Christian is nothing more than idolatry of the self. It is not pious to grovel and beg when you would never demand such behaviour of your peers.

Lift up your hearts.