Why We Really Sleep In

Recent studies say hitting the snooze button is bad for our bodies. But studies won't get us out of bed. Elise Snickers was a college student pursuing a career in a psychology when she wrote a letter to 54-year-old C.S. Lewis to ask the question: Can personal sin be avoided -- or "cured" -- by proving to a patient the un-reasonableness of the sin? In other words, can a discovery of the stupidity of a sin be its cure?

In his response, Lewis used two examples to make his point, beginning with why we sleep in late:

A man's reason sees perfectly clearly that the resulting discomfort and inconvenience will far outweigh the pleasure of the ten minutes in bed. Yet he stays in bed: not at all because his reason is deceived but because desire is stronger than reason.

A woman knows that the sharp 'last word' in an argument will produce a serious quarrel which was the very thing she had intended to avoid when that argument began and which may permanently destroy her happiness. Yet she says it: not at all because her reason is deceived but because the desire to score a point is at the moment stronger than her reason.

People -- you and I among them -- constantly choose between two courses of action, the one which we know to be the worse: because, at the moment, we prefer the gratification of our anger, lust, sloth, greed, vanity, curiosity or cowardice, not only to the known will of God but even to what we know will make for our own real comfort and security. If you don't recognize this, then I must solemnly assure you that either you are an angel, or else are still living in a fool's paradise: a world of illusion. (Letters, 3:330)

Sins like sloth and rage are, of course, always stupid (Psalm 69:5), always unreasonable, always boneheaded mistakes. But is the expression of sin merely faulty reasoning in need of re-education? Lewis’s answer to the question is clearly "no" -- sin erupts out of the molten-hot desires and affections churning in the core of our being.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]