On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King stood in Washington D.C. and said, “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.”
If this glorious dream is attained, it’ll be accomplished by righteousness instead of legislation. The heart can’t be moved to goodness by force. An inherent human problem must be corrected by something greater than humanity.
Sin is common to man (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2). “There is none righteous, no not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God” (Romans 3:10-11, NKJV).
God sent Jesus to die for all of us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). His blood is our salvation and we can only approach God when it’s on our soul (Romans 5:9; 1 John 1:7). In so doing, we’re added to the Lord’s church and the growth process begins (Acts 2:47).
Transformation through the gospel makes us better than we can ever be on our own (Romans 12:1-2). Only through Christ can we reach beyond our squalor to stand on more sacred ground.
King’s dream will be fulfilled when we all see people through spiritual eyes and realize everyone is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26).
To the Lord we’re all souls. Race, nationality, physical, intellectual, financial and emotional differences will always exist, but they must be secondary.
Seeing people first as souls allows us to heed the call of God to think like him. “For the Lord doesn’t see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Physical attributes have absolutely nothing to do with one’s spiritual value. We’re all judged based on our “works” (Revelation 20:11-15; Ezekiel 18:19-24).
King’s dream of owning our character has a price, though. We can’t allow our appearance to determine our value. Someone isn’t inherently superior or inferior based on their race, nationality, etc.
We can’t escape responsibility because of our race or be condemned by it, either. A person isn’t inherently a racist, a criminal or a terrorist because of their race or nationality.
Consequences can’t be avoided because of our appearance. We can’t hide behind our classification, because behavior and mindset stands alone.
Dr. King’s dream is more expansive than many realize and would change everything about our world. But that is what Christ does.