From John Piper’s A Godward Life:
Christianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. It is possible to become tender-hearted when once you were callous and insensitive. It is possible to stop being dominated by bitterness and anger. It is possible to become a loving person no matter what your background has been.
The Bible assumes that God is the decisive factor in making us what we should be. With wonderful bluntness the Bible says, “Put away malice and be tender-hearted.” It does not say, “If you can…” or, “If your parents were tender-hearted to you…” or, “If you weren’t terribly wronged or abused…” It says simply, “Be tender-hearted.”
This is wonderfully freeing. It frees us from the terrible fatalism that says change is impossible. It frees from mechanistic views that make our backgrounds our destinies.
If I were in prison and Jesus walked into my cell and said, “Leave this place tonight,” I might be stunned, but if I trusted his goodness and power, I would feel a rush of hope that freedom is possible. If he commands it, he can accomplish it.
If it is night and the storm is raging and the waves are breaking high over the pier, and the Lord comes and says, “Set sail tomorrow morning,” there is a burst of hope in the dark. He is God. He knows what he is doing. His commands are not throw-away words.