C.S. Lewis on forgiveness

C.S. Lewis is my favorite author – heck, I named my son after him…  Found a good quote this morning:

I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality (unless I watch myself very carefully) asking Him to do something quite different.  I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me.  But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing.  Forgiveness says “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology.  I will never hold it against you and everything between us two will be exactly as it was before.”  But excusing says “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it, you weren’t really to blame….”

Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in its horror, dirt, meanness and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. susan
    Dec 09, 2007 @ 12:28:35


    thank you for the moment of truth and wisdom. this is definitely something for me to ponder and apply to myself.

    hope all is well in your household dear friend.



  2. Per
    Dec 18, 2007 @ 15:12:40

    Thank you much for having posted this. I was trying to remember where I had read this, and spent a few hours looking through various C.S. Lewis writings, but couldn’t find it. Could you be so kind so share where you got the exerpt from?

    Thank you,


  3. Nicole
    Dec 18, 2007 @ 16:24:37

    I actually got this from Piper’s Desiring God – but I believe the original quote is from God in the Dock – I will check later…


  4. Nicole
    Dec 18, 2007 @ 19:03:06

    oops – messed that up – I was thinking of the mud puddle quote (my first blog) – I got this out of a little compilation book that recently came out – all Lewis quotes. I can’t remember the title – it was actually a Christmas present for someone else that I couldn’t help but peruse first!

    The book is in Barnes and Nobles now I think – apple on the front…


  5. Per
    Dec 18, 2007 @ 23:25:33

    Thanks much.



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