“A three-year-old little boy once went to meet his father at the train. “I want to carry your suitcase, Daddy,” he said. “Good lad,” said his father. “Put your hand on my hand.” Together, they carried the heavy suitcase. When they arrived home the little lad told his mother, “I carried Daddy’s heavy suitcase.” And that is exactly what we should do. Lay our weak hand in Jesus’ strong hand. We are strong together with Him. Yes, more than conquerors.” -Corrie Ten Boom, I Stand at the Door and Knock
“A man in a small village once visited a priest. He asked him if he could confess his sin and if he could have absolution. “I stole three sacks of potatoes,” he said. The priest listened and talked about repentance and forgiveness. When the conversation was finished, the priest said, “I heard about the theft of those bags of potatoes, but I heard that it concerned only two, and you mentioned three.” “Yes,” said the man, “but tomorrow I will steal the third.” -Corrie Ten Boom, I Stand at the Door and Knock
“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and waiting for the rat to die.” -Anne Lamott
“The human heart runs on denial, the way my car runs on gas.” -Tim Keller, from sermon “He Came to His Himself”
What is a parable? Why did Jesus tell these stories? … He was using them in a way as mirrors. Every parable is a mirror that Jesus holds up before our eyes and asks us ‘What do you see in this mirror?’ And he judges and assess our spiritual condition by our ability to see the right things in the mirror. I have a friend who has been, over the years, a well-known Christian counselor, and I remember him saying on one occasion often when someone comes into see him, if a Christian comes in to see him, one of the first questions he will ask is, ‘Tell me which parable of Jesus you really don’t like.’ And you can understand why he says that, because if there’s something in a parable… that when you read it you’re irritated by it, then to that extent that parable has been a mirror that has revealed what is really in your heart.” -Sinclair Ferguson, sermon “The Waiting Father”
“Pure feeling, if such a thing exists, is non-moral. That can be observed in the sphere of human relationships. What makes my affection for a human friend such an ennobling thing is the knowledge that I have of the character and the needs of my friend. Am I indifferent to such knowledge? Am I indifferent to base slanders which are directed against my friend’s reputation? Not if I am a friend worthy of the name. Human affection, apparently so simple, is in reality just bristling with doctrine; it depends upon a host of observations, stored up in the mind, regarding the object of affection.” -J. Gresham Machen, The Person of Jesus: Radio Addresses on the Deity of the Savior
BTW NOTE: In other words, to make God a mere feeling is to make him, not more, but less than we are. And as with all things that are ‘less’ than us, a God who is just a feeling is easy to manipulate. One way we see this is in how God always seems to agree with our opinions. He’s gets fashioned in such a way that he always agrees with us.
“The Psalms are not only the longest book of the Bible; they are also the most varied. All life, in all its variety and complexity, is represented here. Yet all this multiplicity can be brought under one heading: ‘take it to the Lord.’ You know how you can take a mirror and so angle it to the sun that sunlight can be re-directed into a dark corner— or wherever? The Psalms teach us to set our lives at an angle, making sure our lives are so ‘angled’ that everything is at once transmitted into the Lord’s presence, and put into the context of what is true about him.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament