We’re going to need to intentionally be with people who are different from us. We’re going to have to sign up, join, and take a seat at the table. We’re going to have to learn how to listen, have hard conversations, look for joy, share pain, and be more curious than defensive, all while seeking moments of togetherness. True belonging is not passive. – Brene Brown: Braving the Wilderness
How did one man begin a movement that would transform an entire culture?
Hate cannot do it. There must be something more than positivity – more than ambition. It must be powerful, intentional, and true. It must be revolutionary, groundbreaking, sacrificial to cause such a seismic shift.
The truth will set you free. The truth will bridge the distance.
The quickest way to get rid of darkness is to turn on the light. We can’t change anything if we keep perpetuating the same cycles that created the problem. The thing that made Martin Luther King Jr. so effective wasn’t just his gifted oratorical ability, or his connections and networking prowess. It wasn’t his financial well-being or education. It was his willingness to challenge the status quo with grace and compassion – qualities admired by all. He walked in a completely different spirit from the tension and conflict he found himself in. The Civil Rights Movement was born from non-violent resistance. He turned on the light. He did an about-face. He did not return hate for hate. He chose to love in the midst of suffering and injustice. He sought understanding and truth in the midst of the conflict. And he never once backed down from the truth. All men are created EQUAL – IN GOD’S IMAGE.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There was another man who shifted the nation’s preconceptions where He lived.
Brene Brown and Martin Luther King Jr. echo what Jesus clearly laid out in His famous Sermon on the Mount.
“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.”
“In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” (Matthew 5:38-44; 6:14-15)
Can you think of one area in your life that you can begin reaching out to make a difference? The love of Jesus transforms. It changes things. It makes us new. It makes thieves generous. It makes murderers free. It makes liars honest. And it makes the proud meek. If you want to make an impact in your generation, let God love you. Turn on the light. The world we create today will become the world our children get.