Who is the real strong one?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a true child of God. He was a messenger of peace in a time of grave conflict. His influence and stamp on the civil rights movement was indelible. Had it not been for him, there would have been much shedding of blood. Dr. King provided a non-violent outlet for the anger and frustration that had reached a boiling point among the African American community. Imagine where we’d be without him? Imagine where South Africa would be without Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu?

Unfortunately, a few generations of white people, largely for economic reasons, forgot that we are all from the same human father, Adam, and the same Father, God. The oppression was fueled by a false ideology that a whole race of people were thought to be sub-human. It was unforgivable, and yet Dr. King and Nelson Mandela were symbols of forgiveness. They knew we must get beyond the lies that fueled inhumane treatment and its violent response. Violence begets violence. How will the chain ever be broken? These great men knew it would only be through the high road of peace and forgiveness, not the low road of payback. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth only creates a race of half-blind toothless people.

We are in a time of great anger in America today. This is an election year, and so far, it’s the angriest voices that are getting all the attention. Those seeking peace, cooperation and common ground are thought of as being weak and ineffective. Perhaps by the time we reach the actual election, cooler heads will prevail, but right now I’m worried about this country. Here’s why: If Dr. King showed up in one of these political debates for EITHER party, and stood for what he stood for 50 years ago on all of the big issues of the day, he would be laughed off the stage. This is why I’m worried about America.

The answer to this anger has to start with each one of us. We have to decide we are going to break the chain. Decide that you are going to be a peacemaker. You are going to claim your part in creating conflict, and forgive others for their part in it.

I’m glad we have the holiday we had yesterday. I’m sad that more people, institutions and workplaces don’t observe it. I think it may be the most important holiday we have. It should force us all to think: How can I be a minister of peace in my world today? Where is there conflict in my life? Is it in my marriage? My family? My neighborhood? My church? My workplace? Maybe it’s the same old racial conflict raising its ugly head.

Be a peacemaker. Take the high road. Rise above the conflict. Find common ground. Link arms with the opposition. March through the hatred, the revenge, the retribution. Exercise forgiveness. In doing so, you will not be the weak one; you will be the strong one. Happy birthday, Dr. King.

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7 Responses to Who is the real strong one?

  1. Lois Taylor says:

    For many years I have said that Dr. King would be appalled at his country today.

  2. Thank you for this. Dr. King, along with many folks who came along during and shortly after him, would get laughed off the stage…I daresay, including folks like Ronald Reagan. That being said, looking back thru history, and all the way back to the motherlands, politics has always been dirty, ugly, preposterous! A trip thru the Museum of U.S. History in D.C. will give you a good glimpse of it. I think today it feels worse because the impact of social media, youtube, tv, etc provides a crazy forum for people who normally seem to be decent, God-fearing, upstanding citizens to spout off w/o thinking about the impact their words are having.

    I’m thankful for what Dr. King did. And here in Georgia, many folks use it as a “Day On” instead of a “Day Off” to do service work. I’m hoping that will pick up in the future and that even folks like me who are independent contractors will close our laptops and get out and DO.

    I cannot imagine what this world would be like had Dr. King NOT stood up and let himself be pushed into the spotlight. We have to do better. We just have to.

  3. Peter Leenheer says:

    In response to today’s Catch, I say, ” God does not move unless we pray”. If things in America are as appalling as you say, shaking your head about it does nothing. Prayer does, and only prayer does. Be obsessed by prayer for America.

    I hope you have seen the movie, ” War Room”. I am in the process of making such a War Room out of my office. I am praying for America. I saw President Obama on CNN with Anderson Cooper’s town hall. This was about guns, but it was not about guns. It was about the sad state of affairs in America. Obama’s gift to America is his exposure of that sad state in Washington and appeal to you and them to do something about it. That appeal happened to center around guns, but really it centered around the polarized thoughts and as John said anger about the state of the country. Americans search your souls as to the root of that anger. The state of america is what I read in the book of judges, ” …And everyone did what was right in their own eyes” , Judges 21:25. Be like Daniel and confess the sins of your country and pray for revival. It is not too late.
    I am a Canadian. I don’t say any of this with the intent to hurt you. But I have watched the USA decline over the last 50 years and it has not been pleasant. Canada has its own problems, but it is not a world power. It does not have that responsibility, but it is responsible to God, just like America. Please pray for your country’s revival, as I am doing. Let the groundswell of prayer make Martin Luther King Jr. proud, and put a smile on God’s face. No not a smile, but a face splitting grin!!!

    Sometimes it takes a crisis to make us move. MOVE IN PRAYER!!!

    Please don’t be angry at me at what I say here. It is said out of loving concern. The time is now…PRAY!!!!! I am on my knees right now praying about a change of heart in America to set things right. Please join me!

    • I haven’t seen War Room, but keep intending to. I am definitely working to make prayer much more prominent and intentional in my life, including a prayer journal. To be able to look back and see God’s hand working thru prayers is a fantastic thing.

      It was obvious we are in crisis mode here in the U.S. when the right to own guns has suddenly jumped to an all-time all-important issue. I never dreamed it would overtake our own concern for each others’ spiritual well-being, but it seems to have done this.

      Thank you for praying from Canada.

  4. Jeff Stiles says:

    There are those around who still feel that somehow they (fill in any ethnicity, creed etc.) are less human than we… unfortunately even in our churches where there are many of those angry people. I’m one… but I get angry at those people who are angry because of fear or ignorance. It seems hard for me to talk reasonable to someone who is not using their reason. Dr. King’s way of non violence is definitely a difficult one.

  5. dierama says:

    Amen and Amen indeed!

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