Mere Christianity: Relationships and Faith

My entire life, I’ve heard people talk about how their faith is a private, personal matter. It really is. Only I can make the choice for myself—to have faith and to nurture or neglect it. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that faith is not a road that I can walk alone.

Ecclesiastes 4:11-13

New International Version (NIV)

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

In the chapter of CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity that we read this week, Lewis talks about faith. And several times, he talks about faith as being a community project—or really, just something that a person can’t do alone.

He asks for other Christians to correct him:

I can only ask instructed Christians to watch very carefully, and tell me when I go wrong; and others to take what I say with a grain of salt—as something offered, because it may be a help, not because I am certain that I am right. – Lewis, 126-127

He explains that being in good relationship with God will bring about being in healthy relationships with others

If you are right with Him you will inevitably be right with all your fellow-creatures, just as if all the spokes of a wheel are fitted rightly into the hub and the rim they are bound to be in the right positions to one another. – Lewis, 127

And he also makes the point that a single man alone has trouble seeing himself clearly—which would lead me to draw the conclusion that other people and God can help him in this pursuit.

Do not sit down and start watching your own mind to see if it is coming along. That puts a man quite on the wrong track. When the most important things in our life happen we quite often do not know, at the moment, what is going on. A man does not always say to himself, ‘Hullo! I’m growing up!’ It is often only when he looks back that he realizes what has happened and recognizes it as what people call ‘growing up.’ – Lewis, 128

I feel like a broken record sometimes, telling the stories of how my friends and family have blessed and supported me, but they really have! What are some ways your family, friends, and faith community supported you? When have there been times that God used them to keep you on track or to keep you sane?

This post is part of the regular Wednesday book discussion on CS Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” that Jason Stasyszen, I, and some of our friends are having on our blogs. Everyone is welcome to read and comment whether you’ve ever cracked the book open or not! At Jason’s site, you can read his take on the chapter and you’ll also find a link widget where you can find our other friends’ posts on the matter. Also, if you’ve written a post, you can link it up there!

About Sarah Salter


  1. When my mother was at her most ill, I didn’t know what to say to Him in prayer anymore. Knowing that family and friends (from Church, cyberspace, neighbors…) were praying for her and me made it possible for me to just sit in His presence without saying anything, and allow myself to be lifted up to Him in those prayers, and just sit in His presence. Knowing I didn’t have to come up with the “right” prayer because so many prayers were already flooding Heaven for us freed me to just sit with Him. You were a big part of that, Sarah! Thank you.

  2. You are so right. We can’t see everything and if we want to grow, we need others that God would put in our lives. We can say, “all I need is Jesus” but then you’re denying the reality that He uses other people and lives through them just like you. Great point and you can beat the drum of God’s faithfulness through friends and family all day long! I’m right there with you. Thanks Sarah.

  3. Faith is both private and corporate. It needs nourishing on both levels. That corporate nourishing is both what you do for others and what others do for you, and each act is like an act of worship. Good post, Sarah. (As usual.)

  4. relationship with God and others.
    i totally agree.

    as for your question…
    my mother prayed.

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