” . . . just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word . . .”-Ephesians 5: 25-26
John Ortberg states in Chapter 11 (“An Undivided Life”) of The Life You’ve Always Wanted that in order for us to have an integrated life focused solely on Jesus, we must be transformed from our double-mindedness by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12: 2). The author goes on to “imagine” how our lives would be radically different:
“Imagine having a mind cleansed of all the debris that blocks our best intentions. Imagine if each time you saw another person your first thought was to pray for him or bless her. Imagine what it would be like if, any time you were challenged or anxious, your reflexive response would be to turn to God for strength. . . . Imagine genuinely wishing your ‘enemies’ well.”
That last “imagine” really stands out for me. Genuinely wishing your enemies well flows from a forgiving spirit. Even if your “enemy” never perceives or accepts your transformation, the change in your heart sharpens your focus on Jesus and enables you to take Jesus’ hand as He leads you toward healing and ministry revitalization.