These days it’s called “paying it forward.” Originally the idea was that debtors be encouraged to pay their loan to someone in need and not to the original lender. Ideally this will start a sequence of kindness that never ends. The whole idea is dicey but with manageable amounts could benefit a culture.

C. S. Lewis was a most generous individual. Much of the money he made from his many books he gave away to those in need. And as often happens to charitable people he was sometimes criticized concerning some of the recipients.

In an October 1962 letter to Mary Willis Shelburne he quotes his critics and gives his response:

“Another thing that annoys me is when people say ‘Why did you give that man money? He’ll probably go and drink it.’ My reply is ‘But if I kept [it] I should probably have drunk it.’”1

Good point. We all do something with our money.

“Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” – Matthew 5:42

  1. Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 1376

Thank you for visiting. This blog is the result of a lifetime of reading C. S. Lewis and a desire to sit down opposite him over a cup of tea seeking his advice. His responses are based on his letters and books.

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