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Martin Luther King Jr. - Strength to Love

I came across a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. in reading materials for one of my bible studies tonight. I've read it before, but found it moving and meaningful yet again.
From his book Strength to Love:

"To our most bitter opponents we say: 'We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because non-co-operation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is co-operation with good . . . . But . . . we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory."

Ever-timely words to inspire us.

Comments

Chesapeake Blue said…
I am always happy to see a quotation to Dr. King. He has become such an icon that I think that his actual words have become lost to many people. In these days immediately after the election, his words are particularly appropriate, because we must resist the temptation to write off the "red" states, and their citizens, as a "lost cause." The essential message that I take from Dr. King's writings (and Ghandi's) is that while we have opponents, we must believe in the fundamental goodness of those opponents, even if they are wrong, and attempt to appeal to them as human beings, rather than to demonize and dehumanize them.

To me, the large mass of American people are looking for essentially the same things, but do not all know how to find what they need. As religious progressives we must try to link those seeking God with our alternative (and in my view more authentic) approach to God.

My 2 cents, anyway.
A Progressive Christian
Anonymous said…
Dr. King, Jr., was an amazing man. Not without fault, (as with you and me!), but I enjoy hearing quotes from him. I'm interested in other quotes from this book. (how I stumbled upon this blog)

From Ephesians 5:1-2: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Also, from yesterday's My Utmost for His Highest. I think it, too, is related. (I get it from www.gospelcom.net/rbc/utmost --I'm not spamming here, I have nothing to do with RBC other than getting my daily devotional from them.)

February 15
“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”
“None of us lives to himself ” (Romans 14:7).

Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people? For instance, if I allow any turning away from God in my private life, everyone around me suffers. We “sit together in the heavenly places ” (Ephesians 2:6). “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it ” (1 Corinthians 12:26). If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer. But you ask, “Who is sufficient to be able to live up to such a lofty standard?” “Our sufficiency is from God ” and God alone (2 Corinthians 3:5).

“You shall be witnesses to Me ” (Acts 1:8). How many of us are willing to spend every bit of our nervous, mental, moral, and spiritual energy for Jesus Christ? That is what God means when He uses the word witness. But it takes time, so be patient with yourself. Why has God left us on the earth? Is it simply to be saved and sanctified? No, it is to be at work in service to Him. Am I willing to be broken bread and poured-out wine for Him? Am I willing to be of no value to this age or this life except for one purpose and one alone—to be used to disciple men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. My life of service to God is the way I say “thank you” to Him for His inexpressibly wonderful salvation. Remember, it is quite possible for God to set any of us aside if we refuse to be of service to Him—“ lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

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