“We are called to be people of conviction, not conformity; of moral nobility, not social respectability.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Conviction is defined as “a firmly held belief or opinion,” and the legacy of Dr. King is an incredible testimony to the power of conviction in the hands of a man devoted to representing God on earth. The man who became the voice of the Civil Rights Movement witnessed a world that was deeply divided by ugly convictions, ones that did not allow love to be the primary mode of interaction between humans. Yet instead of letting his convictions be things that divided him from others and created boundary markers around himself, creating “us-es” and “thems,” he used his God-given human agency to break down walls and fight for justice, unity, and peace.
Dr. King made his conviction love, when around him he saw a conformity to hate.
Dr. King made his conviction unity, when around him he saw a conformity to division.
Dr. King made his conviction justice for ALL people, when around him he saw a conformity to committing and accepting injustice.
Dr. King made his pursuit the moral nobility he experienced in the life of Jesus, nailing any social respectability he might lose to the cross.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a moral nobility which was driven by a conviction, a conviction that the heart of God was love, and that that love was not to be reserved only from some nor held at arms length from others. God’s heart of love was meant to be actively pursuing righteousness and justice for everyone, picking up the downtrodden and caring for the least of these, and Dr. King devoted his life to showing the world what the heart of God could do if men and women decided to turn their convictions from worldly hate, division, and injustice, to God-like love, unity, and justice.
I wish Dr. King were alive on earth today, much as I wish Jesus Christ were alive on earth today. I believe they would be good friends, and in some ways to know one would be to know the other, because Dr. King let his life be conformed so fully to the life of his Savior. I pray that that would be true for all of us, that to know us would be to know the heart of love that God has for his creation. ALL of his creation.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.