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Focus on Character

We are approaching the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream Speech. On August 28th, 1963, MLK delivered this speech following a March in Washington D.C. inspired by a calling for equality and freedom for all. My favorite moment in this speech is Dr. King’s fervent dream when Americans will focus on the content of character rather than the color of skin.

And Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming and said, Have you come peaceably? And he said, Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice. And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and called them to the sacrifice. When they had come, he looked on Eliab [the eldest son] and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him, 1 Samuel 16:4-6.

While this sounds great in theory, one Old Testament prophet was deceived by the physical features and stature of Eliab. If a man of God can be fooled by a good looking individual, then anyone is susceptible. Martin Luther King Junior was the pastor of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. This ministry prepared Dr. King for his dream speech that focused on character.

But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart, 1 Samuel 16:7.

Perhaps Martin reflected upon the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1-5. The world is full of people who jump to conclusions or base their opinions upon what members of the media profess. Rather than provide context, specific flaws and weaknesses are demonized and highlighted. At some point in the near future, this woke movement must end and be replaced by an emphasis on character. I pray that this day comes soon.

by Jay Mankus


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