Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King
“The tradition of forgiving was central to the civil rights movement and it’s grounded in two things,” said the Rev. Jonathan L. Walton, a professor of Christian morals at Harvard and minister of its Memorial Church.” “One cannot be held accountable for how others treat us, but we can be held accountable by God for how we treat others. So forgiveness and reconciliation are central to us. Particularly for Martin Luther King, it was not about defeating an enemy but defeating injustice by bringing people from opposing sides into beloved community.”
Often I need to read my own meditations. I wonder if great preachers like Luis say something similar about their own sermons. I can’t remember if I have written about Rev. Walton’s words or not, but if I have they are worth repeating. One cannot be held accountable for how others treat us, but we can be held accountable by God for how we treat others.
I, like every one of you, depend on other people to help me. Whether it is to publish my books, to be my doctor, to manage my websites, etc. There are many things I can’t do myself. Each of us depend on people for different things, and because we do, on occasion we are disappointed or upset. No, we are not islands. And if you are like me, you too have probably disappointed a few people in your lifetime as well.
Rev. Walton reminds me this morning I need to refocus my disappointment and concentrate on how I treat others. I need to turn my emotional disappointment to forgiveness and reconciliation. It is for those actions I am “accountable” to God.