We have just celebrated the birthday of the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. As members of the ethnic minority, we are a beneficiary to the legacy of justice and equality that this leader has fought for.
It is a great irony that this great leader who advocated non-violence died a violent death. Yes they killed him, but his dream of restoring dignity to the colored people of America is very well alive. This country is never the same again because he has left a dream that would continue to haunt us until it becomes a reality.
This is what he says about non-violence: “Why should we love our enemies? Because returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already void of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive hate, only love can do that. Hate scars the soul and destroys personality. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
This is the hardest command to follow- loving those who hurt us. And yet it is required of us who claim to be Christians. Love is the only distinguishing mark of being a disciple of Christ. John 13:35 says, “The world will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
We can’t pray the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses” if we cannot “forgive those who trespass against us.” Taking revenge is the shortest way to get even with our enemies, but it is the un-Christian way. Through the letter of Paul to the Romans (12:19) Jesus says, “Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’”