11 Powerful Martin Luther King Quotes

11 Powerful Martin Luther King Quotes MLK Jr words of hope

The words of Martin Luther King have brought hope to millions, even today, nearly 50 years after his death. He spoke with strength and conviction, with a heart clearly impacted by the teachings of Christ.

When I first became a Christian, I came across a collection of Dr. King's sermons. I listened to them on repeat, moved by the sweeping melody of his voice and the way he illuminated truth in the Scripture.

Ever since then, he has been a huge source of inspiration. Here are a few of our favorite quotes from Martin Luther King:

On Faith

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

"So I say to you, seek God, and discover Him and make Him a power in your life. Without Him all of our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest nights. Without Him, life is a meaningless drama with the decisive scenes missing. But with him we are able to rise from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope. With Him we are able to rise from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of Joy. St. Augustine was right--we were made for God and we will be restless until we find rest in Him."

On Helping Others

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

"The time is always right to do what is right."

On Love

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

On Non-Violence

"To our most bitter opponents we say: We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory."

On Serving

“Everybody can be great.. because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.. a soul generated by love.”


"The time is always right to do what is right" Martin Luther King Jr


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  • Thank you so much for sharing Martin Luther’s words. I have always admired and loved his words, but did not know enough of his sermons and thoughts. He convicts me with the love of Christ, and I know this is the only way we will win the battles of today. May God bless you and keep you in His love.

    Cindy Roberts
  • Powerful, every one. Thanks for sharing.

    Fran Braggs