It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – one that is worthy of celebration and recognition.
While there are a lot of things we could discuss regarding Dr. King, I would like to discuss his faith, which moved mountains of racial inequality. His dream was that we would no longer see color or race, but see each other as people and fellow human beings. In the midst of the Jim Crow laws and the rise of violent hate groups, he had enough faith to believe that racial equality could not only be possible, but that it would happen in the lives of his children.
My parents and grandparents experienced racism. They told me stories of being spit at by white children on buses as they walked to school. They spoke of having to use separate bathrooms and water fountains. They even had to use separate entrances to go into restaurants. Facing a situation like this day in and day out could make it easy to lose hope that things would ever change. But Martin Luther King, Jr. was quoted as saying, “To be a Negro in America is to hope against hope.”
Having faith is great. But faith without works is dead (James 2:26 KJV). Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t just talk about his faith, but he put action to it. He organized nonviolent protests. He spoke out against injustice, not only for black people, but for people all over the world. His stepping out on faith energized others to join with him and stand up against the social ills of our nation.
Where would we be today if Martin Luther King, Jr. hadn’t took a stand against the oppressive nature of racism? I thank God for him and the example he set of faith in the midst of adversity. He stood up against the majority as a minority and made a world of difference.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr.:
– “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
-“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
-“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
-“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
-“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
-“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
-“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963
-“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963.
-“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963
Are you facing a situation that challenges your faith? If so, I encourage you to find hope and encouragement from the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Have a blessed day!