The story before 'I have a dream'

We were reminded of a story from MLK's life that was a pivotal moment.  A moment he often went back to in times of suffering or exhaustion.  Today we talk about that moment and what it means for your relationship. 

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Interesting Facts about Michael King Jr…we mean Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. His name was originally Michael, not Martin.  His father was also Michael King, hence why Martin Luther King Jr. was originally named Michael King Jr.  However, after a trip to Germany in 1931, Michael King Sr. changed his own name in homage to historic German theologian Martin Luther.  Michael King Jr. was two years old at the time and King Sr. made the decision to change his son’s name to Martin Luther as well. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/01/martin-luther-king-jr-facts/
  2. King Jr. skipped two grades in high school, 9th and 11th, and entered college (Morehouse College) at the tender age of 15 in 1944.  By 19, he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
  3. His honeymoon was spent at a funeral parlor… not because someone died, simply because a friend owned the parlor and offered to let him use it for his honeymoon.
  4. King donated all of the $54,123 (about $400,000 today) he received for his Nobel Peace Prize to the Civil Rights movement.  During his acceptance speech, he stated “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

From Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey:

And I sat at that table thinking about that little girl and thinking about the fact that she could be taken away from me any minute. And I started thinking about a dedicated, devoted and loyal wife, who was over there asleep. . . . And I got to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore. I was weak. . . . And I discovered then that religion had to become real to me, and I had to know God for myself. And I bowed down over that cup of coffee. I never will forget it. . . . I prayed a prayer, and I prayed out loud that night. I said, “Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think I’m right. I think the cause that we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now. I’m faltering. I’m losing my courage.” . . . And it seemed at that moment that I could hear an inner voice saying to me, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo I will be with you, even until the end of the world.” . . . I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.

What can we take away for our relationships from MLK Jr’s legacy:

  1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
    1. The only kind of change worth having comes from love.
    2. Be the light for that person in your life.
  2. “I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
    1. Walk in forgiveness with everyone.
  3. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
    1. It only matters when it’s hard.
  4. “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
    1. We are both.  Who are you going to choose to see?
  5. “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. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. 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. (from "Loving Your Enemies")”

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