Three Ways How To Love Your Enemy: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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October 5, 2015

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Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday today (Jan. 15), here are a few highlights of one of his most powerful speeches given in 1957. The infamous speech is entitled: “Loving Your Enemies.”

” I want to turn your attention to this subject: “Loving Your Enemies.” It's so basic to me because it is a part of my basic philosophical and theological orientation — the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love. In the fifth chapter of the gospel as recorded by Saint Matthew, we read these very arresting words flowing from the lips of our Lord and Master: “Ye have heard that it has been said, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.' But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.”

How do you go about loving your enemies?

1) ANALYZE SELF FIRST: “Now, I'm aware of the fact that some people will not like you, not because of something you have done to them, but they just won't like you. But after looking at these things and admitting these things, we must face the fact that an individual might dislike us because of something that we've done deep down in the past, some personality attribute that we possess, something that we've done deep down in the past and we've forgotten about it; but it was that something that aroused the hate response within the individual. That is why I say, begin with yourself. There might be something within you that arouses the tragic hate response in the other individual…”

2) Discover the elements of good in a person: “Every time you begin to hate that person and think of hating that person, realize that there is some good there and look at those good points which will over-balance the bad points…”

3) Instead of defeating the hater, show them love: “There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That's the time you must do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It's not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system…”

Read the entire speech when you continue…

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