Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.”

I consider Martin Luther King, Jr. one of my heroes for many reasons. First, he stood up for what is right even when it wasn’t popular. His persistence for justice constantly put his life and his family’s life at risk but he understood the importance of what he was doing. Second, he advocated for nonviolence and loving his enemies, though he had every right to belittle his adversaries.

But what made him such a great leader – what made him such an influential force – was his faith in Christ and extensive education. Martin Luther King, Jr. perfectly integrated his faith and learning. “Strength to Love” is his most esteemed work because, as his widow Coretta Scott King stated, it explains “his belief in a divine, loving presence that binds all life.”

Throughout the book, King constantly quotes the Torah, the Psalms, the prophets, the words of Jesus and letters from the Apostle. Additionally King cites the Shakespeare, William Wilberforce, James Russell Lowell, Henry David Thoreau, and others. Martin Luther King was not only a very devout Christian; he was also very intelligent and well-read scholar. He used his strong faith in God and his powerful intellect to change the world.

“Strength to Love” is one of the most motivating books I have read in a while. Written nearly fifty years ago, the words of Dr. King still ring true today. I encourage everyone to pick this book up.