Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as one of the most influential figures in history. As a Christian minister, Dr. King’s main influences were the gospel and his faith in Jesus Christ, which he used as the foundation for his tireless civil rights efforts.
A thought leader in human equality, King could see that the world is filled with hate. In his book, “Strength to Love,” King stresses the need for agape love in the world. Not to be confused with brotherly love (philia) or romantic love (eros), agape love is the highest form of love. It’s described as the kind of unconditional love God has for his people.
Following the teachings of Jesus, Dr. King called us to recognize that the only way humans can overcome hate and evil in our world is to love one another. He challenged his followers to extend this agape love to our fellow man, regardless of differences.
The idea is hardly a new thought in the Christian faith, but it is still an excellent reminder that today is more than just a day off school and work. Though his life was tragically cut short, Dr. King’s philosophies live on through multiple generations. Let’s honor the teachings of Jesus through MLK today and every day.
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:43-45