I seem to remember a blog post, though I cannot recall where, in which authors were asked to share the one page in a book that transformed their thinking. Readers are shaped by what they read, but some pages carry much more punch than others.
The following section comes from page 15 of Larry Crabb's book Connecting (2005 edition). I savor these words.
We need to hear the Father laugh. Change depends on experiencing the character of God.
Until we thrill in the Father's embrace after admitting we've been prostitutes, until we watch him jump up and down with delight every time he sees us, until we hear him ask, "How can I help?" when we expected him to say "I'm sick and tired of putting up with you!" we will not change, not really, not consistently, not deeply.
Do we see the good in people, the good heart buried beneath all the pettiness and resentments and empire-building ambitions that irritate us so badly? Do we accept fellow Christians the way Christ accepts us, forgiving each other for the wrongs we do and believing there is something better?
Do we jump up and down with excitement over what someone else could become? How much time do we spend envisioning what that might be? Could we write a verbal portrait of what our rebellious son or estranged spouse or critical friend might look like in twenty years if God's Spirit has his way?
Without this foundational element of offering others a taste of Christ's delight in them, all of our skillful techniques, our wise counsel, our insightful interpretations, even our warm encouragement, will add up to nothing. If there is no love, no supernatural delighting in who we are and who we one day will be, every effort to help people change will fall short of its potential.