If fear is the great enemy of intimacy, love is its true friend.
The territorial aristocracy of former ages was either bound by law, or thought itself bound by usage, to come to the relief of its serving-men and to relieve their distress. But the manufacturing aristocracy of our age first impoverishes and debases the men who serve it and then abandons them to be supported by the charity of the public. This is a natural consequence of what has been said before. Between the workman and the master there are frequent relations, but no real association.I am of the opinion, on the whole, that the manufacturing aristocracy which is growing up under our eyes is one of the harshest that ever existed in the world; but at the same time it is one of the most confined and least dangerous. Nevertheless, the friends of democracy should keep their eyes anxiously fixed in this direction; for if ever a permanent inequality of conditions and aristocracy again penetrates into the world, it may be predicted that this is the gate by which they will enter.http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/ch2_20.htm
The best definition of faith that I know is that it is reason grown courageous. Moreover, that is all that Christ ever asked us for, and the reason he asked us for that was because he wants to use us. He needs our help. It is almost impossible to believe it. But God Almighty wants our help, so Christ tells us.
As one looks back through the ages, all the great men are men of faith: the Newtons, Faradays, Darwins, Marconis, men with faith which they confirmed by experiment. Luther and Garibaldi, Washington and Lincoln, men of action as well as thought, were primarily men of faith. But infinitely above all, Jesus himself is the supreme example of a man of faith. Even on his cross he was absolutely confident, though as far as any human eye could see then, his faith, judged by results, was
In 1883 while I was working at the London Hospital I chanced to turn in to one of D. L. Moody's great tent meetings in the slums of East London. I was amazed to see on the platform with him several men whose athletic prowess was world-famous. That was a credential to me that it was worth stopping to listen to what was going to be said. I still believe athletic success is an invaluable asset to a preacher. Christ, I am sure, wants football, baseball, and track-team men in an age when theological expositions, however deep and learned, when orthodoxy, conventionality, or even correct vestments and ritual, have so little attraction for the young men who will be leaders tomorrow.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.