Discovering True Compassion on MLK Day

As we take a moment today to pause and remember the life of American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., we must not forget what it was that drove him to do what he did: true compassion.

For all the attention he received, King struggled under the weight of constant death threats toward him and his family. However, it never stopped him from doing whatever he felt needed to be done to break down the barriers created by racism in America. Ultimately, King wanted justice for all.

Consider this powerful quote from King:

On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

We live in a world that needs dramatic transformation. And true compassion needs to envelope the idea that King put forth, one that seeks to help one another beyond simple benevolence:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, ESV).

Let us endeavor to be the kind of Christians who reflect the heart of Christ. Let us remember to help those in immediate need and to not lose perspective of our role to daily participate with Christ in transforming the world around us.

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