#893 – Undragoned

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Yesterday I wrote about dragons and sin. We were created to fly free like dragons but sin chains us to the earth. Sometimes our sin feels like a long chain that gives us plenty of freedom, but it’s still a chain that will eventually pull us down.

Faithful commenter and reader, Mike, reminded me about Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Eustace’s greed and self-centeredness turn him into a dragon. My post equated sin with a chain but C.S. Lewis equates sin with being turned into a dragon.

Eustace was supposed to be a little boy but his sin transformed him into a monster. Sin not only limits our true freedom but it also distorts and corrupts us. The longer we embrace our sin, the more it tarnishes the image of God that we all bear. And, as C.S. Lewis so expertly conveyed, we can’t do anything about our sin.

Check out this excerpt from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know— if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”

In one of his most powerful allegories, Lewis has Eustace describe what it was like for Aslan to peel off his dragon scales. Aslan had to cut Eustace deep in order to get at the root of the issue. And even though it hurt, Eustace was happy to see his dragon scales torn away.

I can’t think of a more apt image of what it’s like to give up our sin. Like Eustace we have to be willing. God wants to root out our sin and renew our lives, but we have to let him. And when we do, when we allow God to work in our lives and root the sin out of our hearts, it’s going to hurt.

Sometimes we hold onto our sin so long that it feels like it’s a part of us, that we won’t know what to do without out. But if we can persevere through the initial pain, we’ll experience new life. Like Eustace we’ll be able to endure the pain because of the joy and pleasure that comes from true freedom in Christ.

We need the power of God’s grace and truth to experience freedom from sin. We also need the support and accountability of others. It’d be awesome if Aslan walked up to us and helped us deal with our sin. More often than not, though, Aslan is going to come to us in the form of a trusted friend.

Sin’s a chain and it turns us into monsters. Thankfully Jesus can free us and transform us back into the people he created us to be.

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One Response to “#893 – Undragoned”

  1. The part of that passage that always makes grateful tears well in my eyes is when Aslan tells Eustace (at that point, still “dragoned”), “I shall have to do it for you.” It’s such a brief line, but so powerful a statement about God’s amazing, saving grace.

    Thanks for this reminder of how, though we cannot save ourselves, we also must not “quench the Spirit” and must be open to God’s work.

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