The Evangelical Universalist Forum

C.S. Lewis on Becoming Nothing In God's Presence

In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison - you do not know God at all ~~ Mere Christianity, page 124

The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself all together or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.
~~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, page 125

When love itself becomes a god, it becomes demonic - C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Lewis points out in “The Four Loves” that although God is love , not all love is God . He says that if any type of love became a god , it would, in fact, become a demon.

It was of erotic love that the Roman poet said, “I love and hate,” but other kinds of love admit the same mixture. They carry in them the seeds of hatred. If Affection is made the absolute sovereign of a human life the seeds will germinate. Love, having become a god, becomes a demon. ~~ C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

As we can see there’s nothing psychological damaging about Christianity like the unorthodox EU believes. C.S. Lewis was in great health and stressed the beauty of God like Jonathan Edwards did. It’s in comparison to God that one is nothing. This is where we feel the glory (beauty) of God.

Forgetting Self (I am accepted and have worth in Christ)

I am nobody special in the worldly sense of the term. But in dying to self and coming to faith in Christ I have eternal significance. I am special to God. His love is a holy love. Holy means to be set apart (special). I don’t earn my worth but it is a gift of God received by faith. My sense of belonging and sense that I count comes from being a child of God. The ego is nothing. The paradox is that we are set apart and special because we are united to all. We are light in a dark world. What the world considers special God doesn’t. What God considers special the world doesn’t. When I’m nobody I’m somebody. When I’m somebody I’m nobody. We become nobody so that Christ will be glorified in us - our true self. In and of myself I’m nothing so that Christ can reign in my heart. I’m covered and infused in God’s righteousness. Therefore, I have intrinsic worth because I’m in Christ. Everything I have; family, friends, possessions, health, all comes from my heavenly Father (Job 1:21). Knowing this, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I am “fearfully and wonderfully” made (Psalm 139:14). In Christ, I have my true identity, apart from Him, I am nothing (John 15:5)

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When I’m compared to God I’m reduced to nothing as I’m swallowed up in the ocean of love. That is to say, the ego(false self) becomes nothing as the true self (love) is united to Christ. I fall in love with love (true self). Though faith in God I die to self and find eternal significance in Christ. In the worldly sense I’m nobody special. I’m therefore united to all. The paradox in that in being intimately connected with love and compassion for all I’m set apart to God. I’m special to God, God’s love is a holy love. To be holy is to be set apart and special. In Christ I have intrinsic worth. God has chosen me and set His attention and gaze upon me. Nothing can separate me from His love.

The Watcher

Your beautiful gaze captivates me
Bringing to life a calm ecstasy
With your love flowing into me
My world brightens tremendously

Wonderstruck here in your beauty
Cleansed, I can feel the real me
Who I am and have wanted to be
Close to you in a sweet intimacy

“The Watcher” painting by Cindy Skillman


For this view here from the Calvinist Timothy Keller:

The only person whose opinion counts looks at me and He finds me more valuable than all the jewels in the earth. ~~ Timothy Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, page 42

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Thank you, hollytree. Btw, what’s up lately with Cindy Skillman? Do you know?