Let Us Reason Together

In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech he stated “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream…’  That speech was given on August 28, 1963.  The question is how close are we to the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream?  In my opinion we are not as close as we were seven years ago.

There was a time in this country when people could disagree on issues and still be able to sit down and discuss those issues in a rational manner.  But today it is easier to call a person who disagrees with us a name and demand that they agree with us or we will call them a name.  People are called “racist” because they disagree with a person of color or “bigot” if they believe that marriage should be between a man and woman.  People who cry for tolerance offer no tolerance in return.

Did Dr. King believe that if his children were judged on the content of their character and didn’t like what was said in that judgment that they would go on with life or that they would call the other person a “racist”?  It’s unfortunate that we do not have the benefit of Dr. King’s wisdom in this regard.  The problem with any person is when we are judged by ‘the content of our character’ how do we respond if we do not like the other person’s judgment?  I seek to find the area where they feel that I failed in their sight to see if I could change their mind by speaking with them.  If I cannot, them I go about my way and understand that they had ‘their right to be wrong’.

We do not achieve any ability to understand each other by calling each other names.  Some feel that by calling me a name they can malign me or my character before others and make people think differently about me.  How does that resolve the situation?  It doesn’t.  There was a time in our country when we were able to have our own opinion and our own belief.  People could agree to disagree, but today we want everyone to believe the same thing.  We are asked to accept sin and call it normal; we are asked to change religious beliefs because those who hold them make those who don’t hold them feel bad about themselves; and we are asked to forget our country’s heritage and foundation so we will not offend those who have moved to our country or who do not have our beliefs.

It is time for us to wake up.  We are letting our country be divided by words.  Criticism gives a platform for discussion.  Maybe there is something that can be discussed that could be a joint effort.  No one is right all the time.  This ‘my way or the highway’ does not allow for discussion.  Discussion requires open hearts and minds.  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:….” Isaiah 1:18.  Even He who knows all was willing to hear what others had to say.

Dr. King’s dream has a chance to come to pass if we will understand that the criticized must not hide behind words but must seek to reason together with the critic to resolve any differences they may have.  If that fails, then let the critic ‘have his right to be wrong.’  “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”  Proverbs 15:28.




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