Today is Martin Luther King Day in America and I am reminded of this saying from Dr. King –
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
While Dr. King was undoubtedly referring to the darkness and hate that manifested itself in the racism of his day (and unfortunately that of today), the thought applies equally well to other aspects of our daily lives.
Lurking in the shadows of the lives of many is the darkness of depression and the fears of to many drive the hate of bigotry and anti-LBGTQI behaviors. More darkness cannot drive out the darkness of despair and depression and fomenting more hate does not resolve the basic fears that drive bigotry.
Only by accepting the love and light of the Son of God into our lives can we overcome the darkness and dispel the hate. Dr. King knew and believed in the power of God’s love to overcome the darkness and fears and hate that he faced as he fought to bring justice and equality to all people.
King was a great civil rights leader, but he was first and foremost a pastor, a man of God who was trying to share the message of the good news of Jesus Christ. He was driven as much my the teachings of Christ as by his own feelings about the injustices that he faced as a black man in America.
Today we focus upon Martin Luther King, Jr. the civil right leader, but every day we can take lessons from Dr. King, the pastor, and find ways to “love your neighbors as yourselves” (Mark 12:31).
Be the light in someone’s darkness and the love overcoming someone’s hate. Only you can do that.