“Henri Nouwen likens the spiritual life to keeping a fire in a hearth in a small cottage. When the door is closed, the fire warms the whole space. Whenever the door opens, the heat escapes, and eventually, the whole room cools. There are times to open the door, times to share and invite others to know what we’ve learned and experienced, but they are the exception, not the rule. In a world of constant display, many of us have never closed the door at all. Every spiritual experience is something we try to share and broadcast. Every moment of silence is interrupted by noise, by messages, and by the presence of others. We long for more depth and more intimacy, but we don’t realize the small ways we are draining it out of our lives.” -Mike Cosper, Recapturing the Wonder
“Confession to another person is not a way to artificially unload guilt. The one who hears your confession is not a priest who will grant absolution. The reason you confess something private is to test your own heart. It is also a way to close the door to one of Satan’s condemnatory devices. Satan delights in keeping all things in the dark, where they can accumulate more condemnation, but we can do battle by keeping our lives in the light.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared
“The rule of thumb is that when we find ourselves stuck, we enlarge the circle and include others who can help. This is a way of relying on God and following his means of growth and change.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared
Ed Welch in Running Scared points out that one of the bad soils in Jesus’ parable of the sower is said to represent those who are filled with worry about this age. Worry chokes the power of the word in their life.
We need to battle worry because it is a threat to our spiritual life.
“We can preach the gospel no further than we have experienced the power of it in our hearts.” -George Whitefield
BTW NOTE: This is more of a general rule. God is not limited by the instruments he uses. As one of the Puritans said, ‘God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.’ In that sense, God can use us to make something ‘straighter’ than we ourselves are. But as a general rule, we can only preach as well as we personally know the Gospel.