More about Strength to Love

I decided to revisit Monday’s post and put the quote from MLK Jr. in context.   It comes from the passage below from the book Strength to Love, which is a compilation of many of Dr. King’s famous sermons.  Besides, Dr. King says it much better than I could anyway.

Let us move now from the practical how to the theoretical why:  Why should we love our enemies?  The first reason is fairly obvious.  Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.  So when Jesus says, “Love your enemies,” he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition.

Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love.  New York:  Harper & Row Publishers, 1963. pp. 52-53.

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Strength to Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Strength to Love (1963) by Martin Luther King Jr.

 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”

Luke 6:27 NASB

Lord, give me the strength to love.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  For further reading, check out The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.   See also Matthew 5:43-44.