Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the evidence for what sort of man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar, you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. (Lewis, 164-165)
To anyone who knows me in person, it would not come as a surprise to learn that my mouth gets me in trouble faster than anything else. I have laughably and notoriously exhibited my failure to think before speaking repeatedly throughout my life, beginning as a toddler when I asked a particular uncle if he was ugly and continuing to present-day. (Though I won’t cite examples. I’m pleading the Fifth Amendment here!)
Granted, many of my examples of foot-in-mouth syndrome are simple and silly and don’t hurt anyone. But it’s not always that easy to laugh off—especially when I hurt or offend someone or when I make a snap judgment about someone. At those times, I can clearly see the truth in Matthew 12:34: “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
I have to stop and ask myself: What are the rats in my cellar? What are those big, ugly rodents that I’m afraid to face?
And I have to realize that only by facing the rats will I ever get rid of them.
Do you have any rats in your cellar? Are you ready to get rid of them?
We are powerless to eradicate them, but we can open the door for God to come in and do it for us. Are we ready to do that?
This post is part of a regular discussion that my friend and co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen, some of our friends, and I are having on CS Lewis’ classic book “Mere Christianity.” Please feel free to stick around and discuss, whether you’ve read the book or not. And if you’ve written a response, by all means, link it up below!