Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
King spent much of his thirty-nine years fighting for the legal desegregation of African-Americans and knocking down barriers that prevented them from their right to vote. His actions were often unpopular, even among many clergy. He addressed clergy and their objections in the Letter from Birmingham Jail.
King’s positions were neither safe, politically expedient, or popular with many people. But he pressed on because he knew God would “judge everyone according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6). If he had kept silent and bowed to the popular sentiments of his day, perhaps he would still be alive.
In so doing, King followed the example of Jesus who resisted the opinions of the theological and religious leaders of His day. In fact, He turned much of their theological understanding about loving God and loving others on its head. No wonder they said he was of the devil (Matthew 12:24). No wonder a crowd tried to hurl him off a cliff when they believed His claim to be God (the truth!) was blasphemous (Luke 4:29).
Sometimes our biblical and Christlike actions will be rejected by others. Those who stand strongly for Jesus and the truths of Scripture are seldom popular in their day. They’re opposed and can even wind up dead (Luke 13:34; Acts 7:54-60). When people oppose us for doing right, let’s remember that “each of us will give a personal account to God” (Romans 14:12). By His strength and leading, may we courageously do what’s right in His eyes.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 5:1-47
Read Galatians 1:10 and consider what it means to do what’s good in God’s sight.
Are you more concerned with pleasing people than God? Why is it vital for you to love others even if they judge you unfairly?