Today we remember the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. He worked hard for civil rights in a non-violent way. As a preacher of the gospel he advocated forgiveness and seeking to get along. Consider this item that I read -
"On Christmas Day, 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a sermon at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. It was based on this passage and the sermon title was, 'Loving Your Enemy.' Through the course of his sermon, Dr. King suggested three ways by which we can do just that.
First, we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. Such forgiveness doesn't mean that we ignore the wrong committed against us. Rather it means that we will no longer allow the wrong to be a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness, according to King, 'is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.'
Second, we must recognize that the wrong we've suffered doesn't entirely represent the other person's identity. We need to acknowledge that our opponent, like each one of us, possesses both bad and good qualities. We must choose to find the good and focus on it.
Third, we must not seek to defeat or humiliate our opponent, but to win his or her friendship and understanding. Such an attitude flows not from ourselves, but from God as his unconditional love works through us."*
As followers of Christ who seek to lead as He led, we must remember that the more freely we forgive, the more clearly we reveal the nature of our Heavenly Father.
Today, be proactive about forgiving those who have been the source of pain in your life.
For Kingdom Education,
*From -Francois de Fenelon 100 Days in the Secret Place, Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA p. 117 2001