Wise Words #1

Posted: December 4, 2008 in perspective, quotes, reading, speaking, speech acts, words

I’m oft reminded of the wise words I’ve come to memorize and live by over my life. (I’ll post wise sayings every now and then.)These sayings, for whatever reason, have exploded in my mind and I will never forget them. Today’s wise words are from one of my heroes, Martin Luther King, Jr.

“In the end, it is not the words of our enemies that we will remember; it is the silence of our friends.”

  1. Joe says:

    this is so true. i wonder if mlk, jr made this statement in light of his christian denomination that often failed to back him up. i think i, and so many others, could say this about the silence of church of christ leaders and universities regarding justice issues.

  2. Sean says:


    Reading this quote in light of what King wrote in “A Letter From A Birmingham Jail,” it seems that Christians were precisely who he was (is) addressing. People, for whatever reasons, are reluctant to speak. Often, I think it is because they think their words won’t produce change. As you know, nothing could be farther from the truth: Words create worlds.

    King was also talking to many black Christian leaders who were co-conspirators with segregationist. They pleaded with King to “take it slow”. One of the subtle things this quote is saying, is that those who are silent about mistreatment of others, those who stand aside while the “powers” — whatever that power is (church leadership, city government, supervisors, dictators, presidents, laws) and say nothing are in effect co-conspirators. This fact has shaped how Rochelle and I deal with “church” and social issues. We refuse to be on the side of evil. And, believe it or not, the first step of breaking the conspiracy is breaking the silence, regardless of how big or small the issue might be.

    In short, if you see a wrong — especially being done to a friend or loved one (which is everybody, if I read my Bible correctly) — say something. This is a tough challenge for many.

  3. jimmymccarty says:


    I came across your blog because of the generated link to one of my previous posts your post created. I’m glad I did. I noticed in your blogroll that you’ve got a couple of people affiliated with the churches of Christ. Are you affiliated in any way? I’m asking because, as someone who is bi-racial and works at an African-American CofC in LA, I know there aren’t many people without a white hue from that community blogging. I’ll keep my eye on what you’re writing. Grace and Peace.


  4. Lisa says:


    Great quote! Thanks. My own experience as a woman in CofC affirms the words. Silence has a way of undermining anyone’s ministry.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s