Confessing Sin in Narnia, by Douglas Wilson

Learning how to say you were wrong about something, and that you are sorry, is one of the most important lessons anyone can learn in his life. It is basically a question of learning how to be genuinely honest. And as such an important lesson, it is not surprising that the Narnia stories are full of examples of this. We learn about real confession of sin in every book of the Narnia series.In The Magician’s Nephew, remember that Digory woke up Jadis when he rang the bell. How does Aslan make Digory confess his sin honestly?

“‘You met the Witch?’ said Aslan in a low voice which had the threat of a growl in it. ‘She woke up,’ said Digory wretched. And then, turning very white, ‘I mean, I woke her’” (MN, p. 147).

And was Digory really enchanted in Charn? “No,” said Digory. “I see now I wasn’t. I was only pretending.” (MN, p. 147).

And what does Aslan require of Polly in this regard? “‘And you, little Daughter’ (here he turned to Polly) ‘are welcome. Have you forgiven the Boy for the violence he did you in the Hall of Images in the desolate palace of accursed Charn?’ ‘Yes, Aslan, we’ve made it up,’ said Polly” (MN, p. 152).

Whenever we are telling a story (to ourselves or to others) in which we did not behave very well, we have a very natural (and sinful) tendency to clean it up (just a) little bit. But this is the kind of dishonesty that Aslan never tolerates. Notice that Digory is not telling an overt lie—he did meet the witch—but he is still leaving out some important parts of the story. And he is leaving them out because it would him look bad to keep them in. Aslan sees this kind of dishonesty immediately, and he doesn’t tolerate it.

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