That is why bad people in one sense know very little about badness. They’ve always lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means-the only complete realist.”
I have always been a bit irritated with the idea that we have to sin to understand evil. I understand that the fall of Adam and Eve were something that were part of a plan and that God made provision for the fall. However, in our day and age it seems there is a line of reasoning that one has to venture into hell to understand it. It always really bothered me and seems to go against what the gospel would have us do with our lives, meaning avoid and repel temptation. I remember the old man in England telling me the more we went out of our way to sin the more we would see the Saviour’s atonement in our lives and that we are encouraged to do so to witness the miracle of redemption. Well, I found a quote that seemed to utter to some degree what I have struggled to find. While I am not a Lewis fan for the fact that his fans appear to like the nicety of language rather than his intent, I have to share this quote. Forgive me for using two Lewis quotes in the last three entries!
It is from Mere Christianity, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is; after all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.