RSC – 0604

(group discussion notes)

“In fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes. HE pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on.”

“Either we give up trying to be good, or else we become very unhappy indeed.”

There was a brief discussion on what is the “paying tax” analogy really means.Someone said trying to be good does not need to be painful or resulted in being unhappy. That is quite correct but Lewis was attempting to show us the inadequacy of trying to be good instead we need to “give up all” for Jesus.

Then we were exploring what does “give up all” means in more concrete terms by looking at various areas in our lives. We somehow ended up in the area of possession. From a “world” perspective we (even poor students) are rich with possessions. So what does it mean to “give up all”. Does that mean we need to give away our possessions?

A tangent discussion started on whether we are indeed rich. We have much but we also work hard for it. And at the end of the day it seems we have less quality leisure time to enjoy the “more” possessions then those in “less” affluence societies. 

How do we see our possession then? As a test case are we always willing to share our possession or are we only willing to share our “leftovers”? When we lent someone our possessions, do we expect to get them back or may be that should not matter because they are not really ours?

An interesting comment was injected somewhere in the discussion that not all of us are going to be missionaries. It is interesting to observe that “give up all” was rather quickly equated to being a missionary.

(my notes)

Trying to be good may be itself a very selfish ambition. I want to be good so that I’ll I can be praised as the “good man”. I remember feeling certain freedom when I decided not “trying to be good”. On the other hand it also led me to indulge into things I consider having a harmful effect on me. So the result of giving up being good is quite paradoxical for me.

I am really afraid to lose what I understand as myself. I had experience that I gave up things and I was given something else better. However, I simply do not know what to do if I really give it up. I felt I’ll be less of a person if I do.

It is really like being an amateur Christian sometimes. We have our day job and when we are done we do our Christian thing. Yet we are not good enough that we’ll not give up our day job to go professional.

I find his remark on the reason the church exists very sobering. We are suppose to make “little Christ”. Are we doing that? I had a talk with someone teaching children Sunday school. I just felt we are more often entertaining kids rather than teaching them.  We try so hard to keep those who are not interested and at the same time losing those that are interested.

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