(CCSLQ-9) Perfect Person

This is part of an occasional series (currently it’s weekly) exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. There is an “at a glance” page HERE to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to read the INTRODUCTION to this series. 

Perfect Person

 

“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most perfect person that I can think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing ever.”

As noted already in this series examining quotations alleged to be from C.S. Lewis, some are more obviously not by him when you are more familiar with his writings, but others “sound” like him and he might even agree with them. The latter is more of the case for the saying explored today. Who wouldn’t want to be “what God chose to make” of you, as opposed to even being “the most perfect person?”  I know I would. However, agreeing with these thoughts are no less stronger when discovering that C.S. Lewis didn’t write them. That’s one of the main points in this series; if you enjoy a quotation that is proven to not be by Lewis, you can STILL like it…just don’t credit him as the author.

In this case we again know who the author is. As with the previous quotation, it is from George MacDonald. Additionally, it is also from another of his fictional works. This time it is from David Elginbrod. More specifically it is in “Book II” of that work which is entitled “Arnstead.” Finally, the chapter it is found is the nineteenth (“The Ghost’s Walk”). However, the end of the last sentence is actually slightly different. That is there is an error in the quotation itself in addition to it being falsely attributed to Lewis. The following is the correct wording of the quote (correction in bold):

“I would rather be what God chose to make me, than the most glorious creature that I could think of. For to have been thought about—born in God’s thoughts—and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, most precious thing in all thinking.”

WHAT LEWIS SAID THAT’S RELATED (or closest to it):

“A Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble—because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out.”
from  Mere Christianity, book 2, chapter 5 (The Practical Conclusion)

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“A perfect man wd. never act from sense of duty; he’d always want the right thing more than the wrong one. Duty is only a substitute for love (of God and of other people) like a crutch which is a substitute for a leg. Most of us need the crutch at times; but of course it is idiotic to use the crutch when our own legs (our own loves, tastes, habits, etc) can do the journey on their own.”
from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3 (to Joan Lancaster on 7/18/1957)

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“God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that he may love and perfect them.”
from The Four Loves, chapter 6

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“We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God’s help.”
from Mere Christianity, book 3, chapter 5 (Sexual Morality) 


The next quote examined is:

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”


Related Articles:

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

Not Quite Lewis – Questionable Lewisian Quotations (Conf. Paper)

Updated 11/7/2015

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