“The evil deed of the enemy-neighbor, the thing that hurts, never quite expresses all that he is. An element of goodness may be found even in our worst enemy.”
“We must not seek to defeat or humiliate the enemy but to win his friendship and understanding.”
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”
“Violence multiplies violence.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies—or else? 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.”
“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. Throw us in jail and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour to beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that 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.'”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
(From his sermon, “Loving Your Enemies,” preached at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, Christmas 1957.)
That, my friends, is how you change the world MLK way!
Of course, you may have to lay down your life to do it. Which is why Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
That last quote, where Dr. King directly addresses his enemies, blows my mind! It’s nothing less than a call to live the Sermon on the Mount! And guess what? It changed the world! So don’t tell me the Sermon on the Mount isn’t “practical.” It is! It will change the world. It just takes more patience than the violent way of satan. Besides, the violent way of satan doesn’t change the world anyway, it just recycles the sin.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had the courage to change the world by following the Jesus way. Do we?
Happy Martin Luther King Day.
PS: The entire sermon is here.