Today, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I heeded the old adage ‘Make it a “DAY ON”, rather than a “DAY OFF”’. For 30 inspired minutes of my morning, I read carefully Dr. King’s poignant “Letter from Birmingham Jail“. The following are some thoughts…
- Each of us is responsible to learn, embrace and press forward with our own “thus saith the Lord”. This is the call that will demand our greatest sacrifice, yet fulfill our deepest desire and dreams- all while leaving the most profound legacy in our wake.
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Whether it is standing for sanctity of human life, marriage, and freedom or standing against the encroaching Islamic caliphate, we cannot sit, idle, hoping that “someone else” will stand for what is morally right.
- Activism in the world today would be so much more effective if Dr. King’s ‘4 basic steps’ were employed when taking a stand:
- collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist (no longer listening to the loudest shouter or sensational media bytes, but taking the time to learn about as many facets of an issue as possible)
- negotiation (recognizing the God-given intrinsic value of human beings and employing a spirit of “faith, hope and love” based in biblical Truth. This would aim to not merely change the behavior of man, but their heart “from which the issues of life flow”. You’ll always see more fruit by helping another person arrive at their own conclusions, rather than strong-arming them into your own.
- self purification (caring enough about a cause to first remove the plank in your own eye before exercising the audacity to go after the speck in your opponent’s.)
- direct action (exercising the courage to side with Truth and forsake all, if needed. As Dr. King said, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live”)
- Failure to act against injustice is equivalent to supporting it. We’ve all heard it, “life is not a spectator sport”.
- “Sometimes a law is [just] on its face and unjust in its application” Taking this thought further, we need to exercise discernment to know when a law is designed to please people, rather than uphold Truth. (For example: while the freedom to have an abortion appears to advance the cause of personal choice and freedom, it actually accomplishes the opposite; devaluing human life, transgressing moral law and enacting bondage that accompanies the law of sin and death.)
- True activism chooses the narrow path between ‘complacency’ and ‘bitterness’. Both apathy and un-forgiveness impede the advancement of Truth and justice.
- God’s dream for the Church is to influence culture, rather than observe it. In Dr. King’s own words, “…when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed… the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” Dr. King continues, “If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.”
So, in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I ask you this: “Have you yet embraced a system of beliefs for which you would willingly give your life, if required?” (click to comment)