Martin Luther King Jr

Free at last, they took your life, They could not take your pride.

Psalm 129:1-8

Reference: v.2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.” (TNIV Bible)

Explore: Martin Luther King Jr is one of our great men of history. He stood up for equal rights for the African-American people in the mid 1950s and 60s.

His speeches are still quoted today and many songs have been written about him – including a verse in U2’s Pride (In The Name of Love). Although he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 he was assassinated in 1968 as he organised a nonviolent protest rally for African-Americans who were not being paid equally to their white counterparts.

Our world is a different place today because of Martin Luther King Jr. And he is just one of many great people who have stood up for those in the minority and suffered a great price because of it.

Free at last, they took your life, They could not take your pride.

Application: We may not be confronted with the same level of persecution as Martin Luther King Jr, but we all deal with negative opinions and people who try to pull us down. Oppression can come in all different kinds of forms – physical attack, passive-aggressive behaviour, bullying, negative words and constant put downs.

When negativity comes our way we can choose how we deal with it. We can allow it to get us down and change our lives or we can stand firm and not allow it to ‘gain victory over us’.  As Psalm 129 shows us, the people of Israel had experienced great oppression for an extended period of time, and yet, they trusted in the Lord and gained their meaning from Him.

It can be a real challenge to stop negative opinions from infiltrating into our thinking, but we must only hold dear to the thoughts and opinions of God.  He does not wish negativity to have victory over us, only His love, grace and justice to prevail.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for great examples of people who stood up to injustice – Martin Luther King Jr, King David, Mother Teresa, Ghandi and, of course, Your Son, Jesus. May we learn from these incredible people and strive to allow Your words to have victory in our lives. Amen.

What negativity continues to infiltrate into your life? 

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.