(CCSLQ-35) – Someone I Love

This is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. Presently a new article is posted the first Saturday of each month (or sometimes the second if there are five Saturdays). There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK 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.   

Someone I Love
“There is someone I love, even though I don’t approve of what he does. There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is me.”

The above quotation expresses some very thoughtful comments. For me it is not only a great reminder that I’m not perfect, but also a challenge to extend to others around me the same love, acceptance and forgiveness I give to myself. It’s just the type of thing you would expect C.S. Lewis to encourage somewhere in his writings. In fact he does! But, he just does NOT use those exact words. While known for making concise profound statements, he expresses this sentiment with a lot more words (details below). So, what we have pictured above is another example of taking material from C.S. Lewis and paraphrasing it.

How can I be so sure? In addition to not finding the quotation in any of Lewis’ work, I also tracked down places it is found and I also believe I know where it was first shared.

Besides this quote showing up online, I tracked it to a recent book entitled 52 Weeks With JesusOn page 181 of the printed version, the author, James Merritt shares those words, but also presents these additional words at the end of the expression: “if I can love myself without approving all I do, I can also love others without approving of all they do.” The footnote he provides doesn’t give direct credit to Lewis, but to another work where Lewis is mentioned.

That book is the 2007 edition of unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Merritt says the quotation in question is found on page 198 of unChristian. Thanks to the preview function of Google Books I was able to see that page (pictured below).

Someone I Love (2007 SOURCE)


You can clearly see something from C.S. Lewis is shared. However, there are no quotation marks around what is given. The authors state “Then I read a paragraph by C.S. Lewis…” but never tell you where it is from. Thus, one can conclude the information presented is a paraphrase of the great thinker.

All is not lost, because there is a good candidate for where those thoughts originated. In Mere Christianity there is a chapter entitled “Forgiveness”  (Book 3, Chapter 7) where at the end of the fourth paragraph he begins a second point that sounds like the ideas in this questionable quotation. The next two paragraphs flesh out his thoughts, with that latter section being the likely location that Kinnaman and Lyons were thinking. So, why not pull out your copy (or get one) of Mere Christianity and read if for yourself today.

The next article is:

“The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.”

Related Articles:

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

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

Updated 6/3/2017


One comment

  1. Matthew /

    This was very interesting! Thanks for tracking this down!


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