Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. : Another Perspective

The Dream Is For You Too!

Saleama A. Ruvalcaba

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We celebrate the remarkable role Martin Luther King Jr. played in ending legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States. An astounding 49 years after his assassination in Memphis, TN, King Jr. is still remembered as one of the most inspirational African-American leaders.

Proverbs 4:1 “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.”

There’s an aspect to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I hope to convey and inspire us in our efforts to evoke change in others. Sometimes we make the mistake of viewing Martin Luther King Jr. as only a leader for African-Americans. Yes, he was a leader for African-Americans. He contributed to the diversification in American history. However, today I want to look at what Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished from a different point-of-view.

For example; I’m in seminary. Each week I turn in a reflection paper from my assigned reading. I usually receive 100%, every week. Well, one week, points were deducted. My professor said I had editing issues. What? I couldn’t believe it. But then I recall I did not spend the same amount of time re-reading what I wrote to make sure the paper was flawless. As a result, the paper did not reach its full potential. Even though I understood the lesson, I did not communicate an effective message of the lesson – therefore, the paper was weakened.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a wonderful communicator. A few years ago I spent a month reading some of his writings. His intellect and eloquence was captivating. He was skillful. He learned from others. In 1959, Martin Luther King Jr. took a trip to India and was inspired by Gandhi’s success of nonviolent activism, which increased his commitment to the civil rights movement. I argue, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to penetrate the hearts of many, because he took his time to deepen his understanding of nonviolent activism, and he was masterful at communicating the message for his mission.

Proverbs 16:32 “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper, than one who takes a city.”

Because we can, at the click of a button, post or publish anything – we are saturated with dissemination. And unfortunately a lot of it is not of quality. Another unfortunate aspect in our culture today is – it doesn’t have to have quality. I did a beginners study on marketing. When we see something flashed in front of our eyes enough times, we eventually want it. We’re pounded with “don’t give up” messages. These messages are self-motivating for our glory! We have no reason to bother with taking our time to communicate effectively. We can keep pounding the same bad message over and over – and eventually we will get some takers. We have no patience – we want success and we want it now – at any cost.

I stumbled upon an article dealing with Christian faith. However, I could only manage to read two paragraphs. The article was riddled with mistakes. Not minor mistakes all writers make from time-to-time, but every other sentence. I could not decipher the message the author was attempting to impart. So I stopped reading it. I had no interest to learn anything about the author. And I will probably never read anything else from that author if I stumble upon their writings again. I’m not being mean – my point is; the message was poorly communicated, so I was not persuaded to invest further into the author’s mission. Martin Luther King Jr. had a grand mission. Poor communication was not an option to end segregation. Lack of patience was not an option. And a self-driven motive would have never lasted the momentous personal attacks on his life.

Proverbs 21:2 “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs his heart.”

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth name is Michael King Jr. His father, Michael King Sr., a pastor, adopted the name Martin Luther in honor of Martin Luther, the German Protestant leader, and his son followed suit. Does it amaze you that Martin Luther King Jr. chose the name of a religious reformer who would change the course of church history? Martin Luther, the reformer, eloquently stood on God’s Word in his defense for church reformation. Three short paragraphs in the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King Jr. references the prophets from eight century B.C, and the Apostle Paul. He also references St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in his defense for social change. We are each called into different fields; activist, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, writers and so forth – but our aim to present the gospel as the focal point in our mission, is the same. Jesus Christ was the ultimate communicator – therefore, if we base our mission on the gospel, we owe it to Christ to take our time to pray, and seek the Holy Spirit before we embark on the calling He has entrusted to us. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great communicator and He stood on God’s Word as his backbone.

Anyone can post a scathing rant of injustice online. Anyone can post a mellow message of hope – yet it be filled with confusion – due to poor delivery. Anyone can start a violent protest. Anyone can instigate a racial and political divide. But it takes patience, integrity, character, prayer – and guidance from the Holy Spirit to stimulate our message. God will give us the tools necessary to deliver the gospel effectively to the masses. Don’t reduce the strength of God’s purpose to your calling by being in a rush to “get out there” that you fail to take time to master your skill. Get in Him – and through Him – your dream and your mission will transcend. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sacrifice is for all of us. He stood on God’s Word and he patiently fought for social change through powerfully communicating a compelling defense in the face of injustice. America became a better place when segregation ended. Spend time reading “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” today. And watch the I Have A Dream speech. Rise above the juvenile undertaking – and begin a new journey communicating your cause – your mission – through a new power – the Holy Spirit.

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline”.  (Excerpt) I Have A Dream, August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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15 thoughts on “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. : Another Perspective

  1. Saleama, there is so much truth here. I loved how you talked about Dr. King in light of his Christianity. This is major because it truly shaped his methodology. I truly agree with the quote, “But it takes patience, integrity, character, prayer – and guidance from the Holy Spirit to stimulate our message.” This is something many are lacking today. So glad to link up with you and be blessed. – Kia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I enjoyed writing this message. We need to be reminded that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He stood on the Word of God to see social change. God’s Word is here for us in every capacity, and we can see godly success in our lives when we rely on Him – and not on ourselves. Thanks for reading and your comment!

      Like

    1. We are very much the same kind of writers in that way, I suspect. I used to make myself crazy with re-writes and grammar checks one paragraph at a time! I was always asking ‘does this make sense?’

      Now I put down the entire thought and re-write once for everything. I always enjoy how well you write. Keep up the good work, Saleama!

      Steve

      Like

  2. I loved what you said about checking for mistakes/editing. Spiritually speaking, with the help of the Lord, we should “edit” our thoughts and speech so God is glorified.

    Excellent reminder that Dr. King’s message was for EVERYONE! Just like the saving power of Jesus is for EVERYONE!

    I’m getting excited in my heart! 👏🏽👏🏽😄

    Great post!

    BCU

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. We should want to make sure we are glorifying God in all we do. So it’s important to take extra steps to mater our skill. And yes MLK contributed to the diverse beauty we see all around us. We take for granted, but 50 years ago we could not even converse with each other. Now we can love each other freely as God intended. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bless you, for all that you do for the cause of Christ. It is important for all Americans to know that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, was just that. He was a Baptist Pastor who preached the message of the cross through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He would have preached John 14:6 many times, and all other passages that relate to Christ as being “God with us.” Please keep up your good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very kind. I honestly try hard to make sure I am writing the truth of God. I pray and seek God with every blog post! Your kind words are really encouraging. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great hero for us all. He was used by God in a mighty way. Thanks again for reading and for your very nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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