We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. Only in this way shall we live without the fatigue of bitterness and the drain of resentment.
– Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love
I couldn’t read these sermons in Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr., without hearing this voice.
[If you can’t see the video, watch here on YouTube]
I’m sorry it’s the first full-length book I’ve read of his writings. His words are as powerful in our decade as they were in the 1960s. Circumstances have improved in many areas regarding racial equality, but we haven’t arrived.
And we face yet other battles of inequality, even in our families, neighborhoods, churches, universities, as well as worldwide. Dr. King’s principles—many taken directly from scripture—are just as applicable to these.
So my words here will be few so you can read more of Dr. King’s.
May his voice still ring in our ears loud and clear.
QUOTES FROM Strength to Love
* We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.
*…it should now be apparent that sincerity and conscientiousness in themselves are not enough. History has proven that these noble virtues may degenerate into tragic vices. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
* Our most fruitful course is to stand firm with courageous determination, move forward nonviolently amid obstacles and setbacks, accept disappointments, and cling to hope.
* Courage, therefore, is the power of the mind to overcome fear. Unlike anxiety, fear has a definite object which may be faced, analyzed, attacked, and, if need be, endured.
* Is not fear one of the major causes of war? We say that war is a consequence of hate, but close scrutiny reveals this sequence: first fear, then hate, then war, and finally deeper hatred. Were a nightmarish nuclear war to engulf our world, the cause would not be so much that one nation hated another, but that both nations feared each other.
* Is there a cure for these annoying fears that pervert our personal lives? Yes, a deep and abiding commitment to the way of love. “Perfect love castest out fear.”
Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
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Have you read any of Dr. King’s writings? His “I have a dream” speech?
- Memorizing Isaiah 55:5
- To hear voices, listen