ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT

darkness-light-hate-love-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, I am sharing excerpts of some of his writings, a few of my favorites. He was a brilliant man who humbly and lovingly acted out his faith.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. 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.

 

 

Excerpts from “Loving Your Enemies” (November 1957)

“Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative.” There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Quotes from Dr. King’s, “The Christian Pertinence of Eschatological Hope,” a paper King wrote for Christian Theology Today

 

Second Coming of Christ

“Actually we are celebrating the Second Advent every time we open our hearts to Jesus, every time we turn our backs to the low road and accept the high road, every time we say no to self that we may say yes to Jesus Christ, every time a man or women turns from ugliness to beauty and is able to forgive even their enemies. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts if we are willing to admit him. He is far away if with ugliness and evil we crowd him out. The final doctrine of the second coming is that whenever we turn our lives to the highest and best there for us is the Christ.”

Judgement Day

“The highest court of justice is in the heart of man after the light of Christ has illumined his motive and all his inner life. Any day when {we} waken to the fact that we are making a great moral decision, any day of experienced nearness to Christ, any day when in the light of Christ, we see ourselves, is a day of judgment.”

Immortality

“Again the worthfulness of the personal life of Jesus makes immortality meaningful. Through his spirit Jesus brought the immortal hope to light. He had a quality of spirit that death couldn’t hold (cf. Acts 2:24). His love was too powerful for death. His truth was too eternal for death. His goodness was too influential for death.”

The Kingdom of God

“When we see social relationships controlled everywhere by the priciples which Jesus illustrated in his life–trust, love, mercy, and altruism–then we shall know that the kingdom of God is here. To say what this society will be like in exact detail is quite hard for us to picture, for it runs so counter to the practices of our present social life. But we can rest assure that it will be a society governed by the law of love.”

 

Words from a beautiful mind, God bless you. Dr. King ~ Linda Eichberg

 

 

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2 thoughts on “ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT

  1. Martin Luther King was also motivated by the writings of Saint Augustine who shared in our Italian heritage. Truths and inspired thoughts endure through generations and decades of time.
    Thanks, Linda!

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