Let No Man Pull You So Low...
May 14, 2015
Owner/Administrator Of Visiting Angels
Topicsdo the right thing, dr. martin luther king, hate, love, peace
One of my all time heroes is Dr. Martin Luther King. Born and raised in a culture where he and other African-Americans were treated as second class citizens, he could have become a much different person than he did. His circumstances could have easily made him bitter and resentful. They could have just as easily forged him into an angry and violent anarchist, lashing out at an unjust and bigoted culture.
He chose peace instead. Especially now, in times of high tension, conflict and uncertainty, we do ourselves, our communities and our nation a disservice if we ignore his wisdom from the past. It is as relevant and dynamic today as it was nearly 50 years ago.
Refuse to Hate
Dr. King said, "Let no man pull you so low as to hate him." In business, in politics and in every facet of our lives, it's easy to resort to an "us/them" mentality. I catch myself doing it all of the time! I promise, I'm trying to get better, and not let my mouth run ahead of my convictions! Of course we're going to disagree, sometimes passionately, with others who cross our path. Y0u, and you alone are in charge of your heart. Hate your boss? DON'T. Hate someone who abused a relationship? DON'T. Hate someone of a different color, different religion, different political ideology? DON'T. This counsel is for me as much as anyone. If you're not good at the biblical admonition to "speak the truth in love," then either get better, or stop speaking.
Do What's Right
Dr. King challenged us, “Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
Wow... is it really that simple? Do the right thing? The answer is yes, it really is that simple. We do the right thing, not only because it helps others, but because to do anything other wounds our own souls. It was obvious to Dr. King as it is to us that doing the right thing isn't always easy. Anything worth having never is. DO IT ANYWAY. Another biblical principle is in play here. The Bible teaches that if a man is going to build a house, first he must "count the cost." The principle of "counting the cost" was not about determining whether or not he could afford it. It was to prepare him for a cost that was inevitable. It laid the groundwork for the challenge to the soul, the potential cost in conflict and peace capital. Count the cost. Prepare yourself. Do what's right.
Choose Creative Maladjustment
Read this quote: “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” Now read it again. What does being "creatively maladjusted" mean to you? I believe it means as we come across those things that are in conflict with our character and values, we purposefully focus our creativity and "holy discontent" on addressing those issues, working for wholeness, peace and progress. Are you a part of the solution when it comes to "human salvation," in working for the betterment of the world you touch? Be innovative. Look for and create solutions and remedies where no one has looked before. Make a difference. Be creatively maladjusted.
This world... it's ours. As leaders, let's spend our passions, our moments and our resources in changing a world that we will be happy to leave to our children and grandchildren!
The question: what does being creatively maladjusted mean to me? It reminds me that by myself, I am flawed. I have flaws in my perspective, my biases, my successes, and even in my hopes and my dreams. Because of those maladjusted realities, I need to recognize my need to submit to an outside perspective. When I say I need to submit to an outside perspective, I am not discounting my perspective, biases, successes, hopes or dreams. Those can be valid and correct. However, like Ephesians 5:21 says, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”, all of us need to recognize the great benefit that comes socially and individually when we learn to submit to God and to submit to one another.
I appreciate that Dr. King was a man who discovered his need to submit his life to the Lordship of Christ. It was his faith in Christ that gave him both the conviction and the boldness to stand against such great opposition. He allowed God’s word and God’s perspective to shape his perspective. As I have encountered his writings, God’s word most definitely shaped his ideology both in public and in private.
Secondly, Dr. King’s example also taught us the great value in submitting to one another. Some view peace as an act of cowardice because there seems to be an unwillingness to fight. However, Dr. King modeled meekness which from a biblical definition means power under control. Our culture in America which is very diverse must learn from his incredible example of meekness. I pray we can learn from the great sins of our past and see the value of another person’s perspective. In doing so, our maladjusted perspective could be creatively used for good rather than for evil.
Thank you for the thought provoking post.
“When I say I need to submit to an outside perspective, I am not discounting my perspective, biases, successes, hopes or dreams. ”
What a great reminder! People can be so prideful, me included! But beyond pride, they can talk themselves out of reaching out to others, simply because they do see it as a sign of weakness. Remembering that “in spite of” our gifts and talents, we all could do well to heed the Scriptures, and the advice of the Beatles(or Joe Cocker, depending on how old you are!_…
“I get by with a little help from my friends!”
Thank you for the post, Page. As always I found some things to ponder. Thank you to you as well Pastor Wall for the thought provoking response.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Great quote from MLK De! “Each man must decide for himself”… Dr. King understood that personal responsibility was key to the future!
Some years ago, I had an employee come to me and say, “I don’t know what the right thing to do is..” I told him that in my life I have found that the “right thing” is usually the hardest thing to do, because you have to put yourself last and put others first.
Thanks for your post today.
Make a list of your options, and pick the hardest one?! That stinks… but it’s usually true! Doing the right thing can be difficult to discover(maybe because we’re not looking hard enough?), and harder to follow through with.
Way to lead your staff my friend!
I’d comment with a famous quote about the maladjusted from someone very “other” than MLK.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw.
Dr. King was adapting the world, not to himself, but to what’s right. To me, that’s the best way to spend one’s life. Thanks for the great post. Mike…
I find you to be one of my “maladjusted” heroes! I love how your brain is working! Your brain looks at ideas like an inventor who is buying a used car, and wanting to modify it into multi-use vehicle/restaurant/lawn mower/jet ski!
You walk circles around the issues (like a guy buying a car), critiquing where necessary, always encouraging, throwing out unique, fun, blunt and insightful perspectives for the rest of us to consider! I appreciate the Shaw quote! Thank you sir!
Page, thank you for sharing. I’ve often asked The Lord to set a guard over my mouth. If I can control my tongue I have taken time to control my thoughts. That allows me the time to consider the consequences of my words. If we all would step back and consider the consequences of our words and our actions, we would be a people that reflect wisdom and kindness. In our home library we have a book titled “1200 Notes Quotes And Anecdotes” and quote #1071 says “Sow a thought, you reap an action, sow an action, you reap a habit: sow a habit, you reap a character: sow a character, you reap a destiny.” Dr. King left a legacy that reflected a man of integrity and character. There is doing what’s good and doing what’s best. They aren’t always the same thing.
BOOM! “There is doing what’s good and doing what’s best. They aren’t always the same thing.” That is so true! I vote we do the best! Thank you Joan!
You have taught me a lot of things through the years. Hate is a very strong word. I don’t think about how strong it is when I use it. My favorite of all is a bible verse. It has gotten me through every day. With out him I am nothing. Philippians 4:13… I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
Here’s the insight I get from your comment Stacey…
We’re challenged to do the right thing, to be our very best…. and many times, we probably question whether that’s possible! But your reminder rings true. When we worry about whether we’re able, the Bible does remind us that there is a greater power within us that we can tap into to accomplish the impossible! Thank you Stacey!
GREAT gut-check! Thank you for your humility and honest with an issue we all struggle with from time to time.
Well, Erin C, I know YOU! You make me proud of the integrity you show and have shown in your career, regardless of how hard it’s been or what the cost…