A Heart on Fire: Lessons From Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reverend, Husband, Father, World Changer, Activist, and Role Model are just a few of the titles that Martin Luther King, Jr. held. As I have taken a few days to reflect on the impact Luther had, I cannot help but try to imagine being in a room where he was boldly speaking to the masses – trying to soak in his passionate and bold messages. To part ways with the fear of self and to care deeply for the future and needs of others.

I can hear passion in his voice and feel the fire in his heart just through reading his speeches over the last several days. What a man!

We are often asked the question, “If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be?” For me, it would not be a famous actor or actress, but Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. He was a motivator. Someone who found hope in the worst of times. He dreamed of a brighter future for his kids and wanted the people of America to unite as one. He was not intimidated by color or titles, but wanted to see the world unite. He wanted man to look beyond the color of one’s skin and to treat one another with respect. He sacrificed everything to stand for something he believed in.

What if we breathed life into America like Martin Luther? What if we breathed life into our spouse, children, friends, and even strangers like Martin Luther?

What if we looked beyond one another’s past, income, clothing brand choices, physical appearance and just genuinely loved people? 

To be honest, I wanted to write about this days ago but could not find the words. I am at a loss for words as I reflect on the impact Martin Luther King, Jr. had.

I want to be compassionate, yet I often decide to respond in the flesh. I want to go out of my way to help other people, but I often look the other way. I want to be self-less, but often fail at putting the needs of others above my own.

I want to teach my children to love others beyond their physical appearance or religious background. I want my children to care more about others than a desire to be popular. I want my children to know that I believe in them and that they can do anything they set their minds to. Don’t we desire this for all children in our broken world? Believing. Dreaming. Supporting. Encouraging. Can you imagine how different our streets, politics, and school systems would be if we implemented this?  

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” 

Upon reflecting on much of what Martin Luther King, Jr. had to say, here are a few key points that really spoke to me:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

How many times do we ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit because we fear persecution?

How often do we run away from our dreams because the fear of failure is the only voice we listen to?

Faith is trusting God and trusting the process. It’s taking that first leap to opening a door of possibilities.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life is not going to be easy. We will continue to face obstacles, but we must continue to fight for good. To fight for the hearts of others. We must continue to love people even when they are difficult to love. We must continue chasing our passions even when the road seems long and weary. We must always find the bloom of a new, vibrant flower amidst a slew of weeds.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must stand for what is right. Fight to make Christ the center of our homes. We can invest in those who are emotionally and spiritually broken and beaten down. We can love our spouse even when they want to push us away. We can nurture and invest in children even when they push our buttons and it seems like a situation or behavior will never improve. We can continue to work hard even when financial situations feel hopeless. Single folks can continue to pray for the “one” even if you feel like you will be single forever. Do not give up hope! Run to God.

Do not let fear write your story.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Let’s lighten our load – put on love and let go of hate.

And thank you, Martin Luther for listening to and exemplifying Christ and applying Biblical principles in such a way that we can learn so much from.

 

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