7 Brilliant C. S. Lewis Quotes

C. S. Lewis is, in my opinion, one of the most eloquent Christian writers of recent times.  The man had such a way with words, it is absolutely incredible.  As a writer, he very much inspires me.  I first became familiar with Lewis through the Chronicles of Narnia, and was pleasantly surprised when my father pointed out the Christian undertones in the story.  Later, I read and loved The Screwtape Letters, and I have encountered many quotes from Lewis in my theology classes because he so neatly summarizes important concepts.

It saddens me that Lewis never became a Catholic.  He got so many things so right, that it astounds me he did not complete the journey, so to speak, and dive deep enough to find the fullness of Truth.  Some digging around online shows me that his main concerns were with Catholics’ devotion to Mary and the saints, and their following of the Pope and allegiance to the Magesterium’s guidance.  While those things can seems scary at first to a non-Catholic, with proper study and meditation, one can find their basis in Christ and understand that they are intrinsically ordered to His will.

Regardless of his Anglican ways, Lewis has a really strong grasp on a lot of the concepts all Christians can share.  The light of Truth still shines through his words.  Here are seven of my favorite quotes by him, and what they mean to me.

1) My idea

Image result for i want god, not my idea of god
Image from Julie Cave

I had never thought about it this way until I ran into this quote, but sometimes, we accidentally limit God.  God is beyond our human understanding; He is infinitely greater and more wonderful than anything we can comprehend.  Elizabeth Elliot said, “[i]f God were small enough to be understood, He wouldn’t be big enough to be God.”  But that doesn’t stop us from trying to understand Him – and of course, we will always fall short.  Sometimes, in our attempts to wrap our minds around God, we condense Him.  We relegate Him to a certain role.  We think He is definitely going to act a certain way, and we don’t give Him the opportunity to act autonomously because we have already decided for Him.  This can be as simple as thinking “Oh, I’m not going to bother asking God for this thing, because I know He is going to say no.”  While there are some safe bets as to what God will refuse, we also must remember that nothing is impossible for Him.  With this quote, I am reminded not to put God into a box and think He can only be a certain way.  I want to be devoted to who God really is, not who I imagine Him to be.

2) Love

Image from InspiredbyJesuslove

This quote reminds me of a form of tough love.  It is never loving to know someone is in sin and darkness, and to leave them there to suffer without trying to bring them to the Truth.  Truth can be painful, and a lot of times, we don’t want to make people uncomfortable.  But sometimes, a challenge is necessary.  Sometimes, we need someone to call us out on our problematic behavior so that we can grow and change and become better.  It can be really tough to approach someone in that way because it’s risky; emotions may run high, and it may lead to rash decisions, such as even ending a friendship.  But to love someone is to lead them to goodness and Truth.  It can be scary, but if you can carefully and effectively do good for another person, then that may be how you are called to love them.

3) Shine

Image result
Image from Quotes Daily

I love the humility that is the focus of this quote.  Another quote that I hold dear is the notion that Willam J. Toms states, “Be careful how you live.  You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.”  That is something that I connect with very personally right now, because I go to a very secular college.  I have run into many people who have never known a Catholic, and I do not take it lightly that I am their first impression of what it means to be a Catholic or a Christian in general.  It is a beautiful form of ministry, and I feel blessed by God that I get to work for Him in this type of outreach.  But this work is not about me.  I’m not doing this for my own recognition.  I want to use these opportunities to teach people about God, to bring them to His light.  With this quote, it feels like C. S. Lewis is cheering me on.

4) The Answer

Image result for I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.
Image from Morgan Dowell

This is a great way to turn frustration on its head.  It’s very easy when talking with God to get upset when we don’t receive the answers we want.  Knowing that God is omniscient, it feels like such a strong denial, maybe even a betrayal, when He doesn’t wrap up information with a nice bow and hand us all the answers.  But God knows better than we do; He knows when we need answers and when we need to keep wondering.  I sometimes have to remind myself that God knows what He is doing, and I can trust in Him to take care of me.  I need to remember that God can satisfy every desire of my heart, and He is infinitely more fulfilling, just in His own nature and self, than anything else.

5) Paint

Image result for Remember that He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can’t see it. So quietly submit to be painted.
Image from The Breadbox Letters

I talked in my post about Bible verses for anxiety that I struggle with a sense of control over my life.  I feel like I need to be preparing for everything in my whole life right now, and that if I am not working hard in every moment, then I will fall behind and fail.  This is a beautiful reminder that God is in charge, that He is guiding my life and helping build me into the person I need to be.  I need to remember to submit, to be still, and to allow Him to work in and through me.  I can trust His efforts because they will always be greater than I.

6) Soul

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. C.S.Lewis. Circle of Daydreams. www.circleofdaydreams.com.au
Image from Circle of Daydreams

Living in this world, we often get caught up in the physicality of our bodies.  After all, they are the vehicles through which we navigate this existence.  Our senses are our method of input.  They are the framework through which we learn, so it is only natural for us to get wrapped up in them, and forget the importance of that which exists beyond them.  But our souls are so vitally important to our selves.  This is a reminder to fix our perspectives and view ourselves as the mystical creations God has created us to be.

7) Humility

Image from Thesouldoctor

It can be really hard to balance the needs of the self with the needs of others.  How do you balance self-care without being selfish, and charity with personal goals?  So often, we feel that we need to decrease our self-importance by trashing ourselves.  We focus on our flaws, we talk more about what we do wrong than what we do right, and we argue with people who compliment us in an effort to seem like we aren’t prideful.  But in a twisted way, that actually is a new form of pride.  You are considering yourself so important that you are the constant target of slander, but you are still fixated on yourself.  But this notion of thinking of yourself less frequently overall is a great way to explain humility.  You don’t have to trash talk yourself to be humble; you can be aware of your own goodness and still decrease in pride.

I could talk about these little nuggets of wisdom for hours, because they are so poignant and apply to so many situations.  I highlighted examples that jumped out at me right now, but these are so relateable that if I were to write this post again in a year, I probably could come up with entirely new things to write about that wouldn’t be any less fitting.  I think these are great to return to every so often and apply in new and innovative ways over time.

Featured image from Ligonier Ministries

5 Christian Spotify Playlists I’m Loving Right Now

I love Spotify; I love having access to more music than I could ever hope to pay for individually, and I love the curated playlists that other creative minds have made and shared with the world.  I also love that Spotify has a specific genre to browse that is Christian music exclusively.  Especially during Lent, I am so grateful for a space that allows me to explore new music that can bring me closer to God.

Here are a few Christian playlists that I found on Spotify that I’m really loving right now!

1.) Everyday Inspiration

This is my go-to playlist right now.  It is chock full of my absolute favorites!  The description of the playlist boasts “[t]hese are the songs you can count on.  Always.”  I couldn’t agree more!  It has staples such as “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman, “Just be Held” by Casting Crowns, and more.  So many of the most meaningful and comforting songs I know are included in this playlist.  I definitely recommend it!

Everyday Inspiration - Spotify
Image from Spotify

2.) Going Together

This playlist is a collection of Christian love songs.  It is a great opportunity to reflect on how my relationship with my boyfriend can – and does! – strengthen my relationship with God, and vice versa.  When I listen to this playlist, I like to play a game of sorts by guessing whether the lyrics are addressing God or addressing the singer’s partner.  Most of the time, it could go either way, and I think that’s beautiful!

Going Together - Spotify
Image from Spotify

3.) epicPRAISE

Who needs caffeine when you have these bumping beats?  This playlist is really great at getting me up and going in the mornings.  Whenever I’m tempted to hit the snooze button (again…) I can hit play on this playlist instead, and I’m ready to move!  It has high energy electronic sounds and pulsing beats to invigorate my sleepy brain.  I especially appreciate this playlist whenever I work an opening shift.  It’s a great way to brighten up my days at 5:30am!  I am naturally a morning person, but it sometimes it takes a little while for that to kick in.  This playlist is the perfect pump up to wake up the morning person in me!

epicPRAISE - Spotify
Image from Spotify

4.) Cornerstones

Most people who know me are surprised when they first find out that I actually really love rock music.  Some of my all-time favorite artists are rock bands.  This playlist is a collection of Christian rock songs, so it is a blend of two of my favorite things!  It was a really pleasant surprise to scroll through this playlist and find so many artists that I recognized and had loved for years, but hadn’t noticed were actually Christian.  Some of my favorites on here are any of the songs by Skillet, “Anthem of the Lonely” by Nine Lashes, and “Courtesy Call” by Thousand Foot Krutch.

Cornerstones - Spotify
Image from Spotify

5.) Flow Fast 20

Sometimes, I just get into the mood for fast lyrics and hype beats.  This playlist is perfect for the days that I’m craving some rap and hip hop.  I have always been drawn to the sounds of those genres, but have been repulsed by the filthy lyrics that dominate that culture.  I can only take so much before I’m disgusted and need to turn away.  But these rappers and hip hop artists speak from a fulfilling place of integrity that focuses on their faith, and I love that.  This particular playlist is always changing, because it highlights top songs of the week, so it’s worth revisiting frequently!

Flow Fast 20 - Spotify
Image from Spotify

15 Bible Verses for When I Feel Anxious

Feelings of anxiety are unfortunately very common in my life.  It’s something that I struggle with quite frequently, and have battled for a long time.  I’ve learned a lot about how to manage my anxiety along the way, and I’ve developed numerous positive coping mechanism over time.  Part of my self care is connecting to my faith when I feel anxious, because I know that I can trust in God to be greater than my troubles and my fears.  Here are 15 Bible verses that I count on to help me cope with my anxiety.

1. Philippians 4:6

Image from christianstuffs

I was introduced to this verse in my Scripture class, when my theology teacher at the time required us to memorize it.  One of my favorite things about this verse is actually not included in this artwork.  In full, the verse states “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”  I like the focus on gratitude, to always match requests with thanks.  It helps me with my perspective when I am anxious because it reminds that even when things are big and scary, there is good in them.

2. Proverbs 31:25

Image from andallshallbewell

Thinking about the future is something that easily overwhelms me.  There is so much uncertainty, so much that I don’t know.  I feel obligated to prepare for the future, because I want to be an active participant in God’s plan for me, but I don’t know how to prepare when my full path has not yet been revealed.  This verse reminds me that God has everything planned out for me, and that I can trust in Him to guide me in His perfect, proper timing.

3. Colossians 3:15

Colossians 3:15 (NIV) -Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Image from wiirocku

When anxiety embeds itself, it tries to take over my whole being.  This verse is how I combat that.  It is through the peace of Christ manifest in my heart that I can find a release from anxiety.

4. Psalm 37:7

Image from Taylor Lopez

Decisions can be difficult for me, because I put immense pressure on myself to make the right choice, and I get anxious contemplating the consequences of mistakes.  This verse reminds me that I don’t have to make the decisions all by myself; I can hand them over to God, and He will show the fulfillment of His plan to me.

5. John 16:33

Image from mylovewillcarryyou

When I think too big, when I consider the breadth of the whole world and the depth of its pain and suffering, I start to shut down and lose hope.  This world is so scary, and there is so much evil all around.  Bad things happen all the time, and that terrifies me.  But this verse calms my fears, reminding me that even though the world is great, God is even greater, and I can rest in Him.

6. Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still. -Exodus 14:14
Image from Megan Watson Design

Sometimes I feel pulled in a million directions at once.  I feel attacked on every level, and I don’t know how to move forward.  But God will fight for me, and I can trust in His actions, knowing that He will bring about the things in my life that I most need.

7. 1 Peter 5:7

imthedaughterofaking:“1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬ “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” ”
Image from imthedaughterofaking

Support networks are super important when struggling with anxiety.  Caring people around me can check my perspective, talk through my irrational fears, help me find a more realistic view, and make me feel secure and loved.  God is the most important, and the most reliable, support network ever, and it’s good to remind myself of His loving care in my life.  He is not a far off God; He is intimately close to me and cares about my personal life.

8. “Do Not Be Afraid”

Image from inspiredbyjesuslove

The phrase “Do not be afraid” is written 365 times in Scripture.  That’s a reminder for every day of the year.  How beautiful is it that God reassures us every single day that we do not need to fear?

9. Isaiah 12:2

Image from inspiredbyjesuslove

This verse serves me as a way to set an intention.  It is a way to take on autonomy and responsibility, and to exercise strength over my anxiety.  I refuse to let it take mastery of me.  I will choose to trust in God.  I will choose to not be afraid.

10. Colossians 3:2

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 3:1‭-‬2 (ESV)
Image from Holy Temple

The mundane things of this life can pull my focus away from God.  I get so wrapped up in the muck of this world that it consumes me, and I forget to look for God.  When I get too drawn into my own life, I don’t always make God a priority – and my anxiety becomes more constant.  Focusing on God and on sacred things gives me a break from all of my anxiety-inducing chains to this reality.  Instead, I can focus on the loveliness of God, and find peace in Him.

11. Psalm 120:1

Image from he-numbers-the-stars

This is good reminder for me that I am not alone.  My anxiety makes me feel very isolated sometimes.  I feel like I am on my own, and that no one can or will help me.  But God definitely can and will help me; in fact, He is eager to do so.  This verse reminds me to reach out to Him, and it makes me feel less alone, because I am confident that He will respond.

12. Psalm 61:2

Image from fallinhisarms

My anxiety makes me feel “less,” like I am unworthy or inadequate to handle all the demands on me.  I feel small and broken.  But God is great and mighty, bigger and stronger than I can even comprehend.  He is my strength and my fortitude, and I must cling to Him.  When I am too overwhelmed to look for Him myself, I ask Him to guide me back into His embrace.

13. Hosea 12:6

bibleverselockscreens:“// hosea 12:6 // [like or reblog if saving please] note: this image was taken from user @wonderfullysaved and cropped to a lockscreen size. thanks to them and whoever originally posted the image :) ”
Image from bibleverselockscreens

God is dependable, and deserving of trust.  I must remember to put my hope in God, because He will never, ever let me down.

14. John 13:7

dettebee:“|John 13:7| ”
Image from dettebee

These words, directly from Jesus, remind me that He has a plan for everything in my life.  There is always a purpose and a use in everything.  I know that God is weaving my life like a tapestry; He will connect the threads when He intends, and it will be a masterpiece.  I may not see the final design right now, but I know it will be beautiful.

15. Psalm 112:7

Psalm 112:7 They do not fear bad news. They confidently trust the Lord to care for them. (I want this kind of confidence)
Image from Brooke Mastin

Bad things are inevitable in this lifetime.  But I can be confident that no matter what happens, God will care for me even through the toughest struggles.  Bad things may happen, yes, but I will be okay.  God will help me weather the storm.  This verse is a great way to answer my anxiety, which fixates on the bad.  The verse acknowledges the bad, but then shifts my focus beyond it, and I can have faith again.