Forgiveness in Martin Luther’s Movement for Rights Blacks Essay
The best way that blacks can learn to forgive is through seeking God. Martin Luther led the movement that blacks had fighting for their rights in America in the 60s. The bible teachings tell us that God exists in the holy trinity and the only way to forgive others is for us to be able to forgive our own transgressions.
God’s grace is the only way that we can achieve forgiveness. Worthington states that forgiveness is achieved when, “we yield ourselves to God and [are] guided by God’s Spirit.” (2009, p. 14) Once we have acquired the skills to be able to forgive ourselves, then, we can learn to forgive others as well. Although Everett Worthington Jr. cautions that forgiving oneself is particularly hard, the driving factor should be the end result.
No hurt or transgression is too big to bear once a person has learnt the art of forgiving him/herself. The best way of working through a hurtful thing like the way that African Americans were during their fight for their rights is to be in a group scenario. The forgiveness of transgressions against other people is very hard to fathom in many. There are transgressions or hurts that people consider too painful to easily forgive.
Martin Luther had a particularly tasking job in attempting to instill forgiveness in the hearts of the African Americans who had been hurt. He insisted repeatedly that the only way that their rights were going to be recognized was through peaceful means. However, a tall order this was, he had to convince his followers that the best option for them was to forgive those people that had hurt them.
There are steps that Everett has developed that are aimed at helping people to become more forgiving in their encounters. The foundation block for this program is that one has to dedicate oneself to discerning God’s heart. As such, one has to be a dedicated Christian for the steps advocated by this writer to work. The major idea here is that god is the most important agent in order to achieve forgiveness. Therefore, one has to allow God to use one’s actions as the vehicle through which he works.
Achieving forgiveness is equated to acquiring any other skill in the course of performing ones duties. Therefore, it is not expected that a person can be forgiving instantaneously. This means that people have to work on their forgiveness skills in order to achieve the forgiveness level that the gospel teaches. Martin Luther had to focus on the religion in order for people to translate the teaching of the bible and apply them in their every day lives so that they are capable of forgiveness.
Forgiveness entails that a person does not seek revenge for a particular hurt that is done to them. This means that although African Americans felt that their rights were not being recognized by the regime in America, they should have desisted from taking any actions to avenge this wrongdoing. The only way that a person can achieve forgiveness is if the action warranting the forgiveness no longer hurts them. Events that are far in the past can be easily forgiven since the hurt occasioned by such wrongs is no longer potent.
Therefore, African Americans should have first work on the hurt that they felt in order for them to be able to forgive the transgressors. Martin Luther was charged with the responsibility of ensuring that any ill feelings that the African Americans may have harbored were not eliciting hurtful sentiments from his followers. If this was achieved, then the process of forgiveness should not have been difficult.
Worthington, E.L. Jr. (2009). A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing Injustice. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press.
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