Mahalia Jackson was a musical icon in the civil rights movement. Her booming voice rang out all over the country. Yet she refused to sing the blues or to sing in nightclubs—rejecting many lucrative offers. She said, “In the blues it’s all about despair, and when you’re done you’re still lonely and sorrowful.” She said “in Gospel music there’s mourning and sorrow but there is also hope and consolation to lift you above despair.” Her refusal to compromise her values is a principle we should all emulate. That is what the Apostle Peter was stressing to believers as we find in 1 Peter chapter 2: “Get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” Peter knew that to stand against unrighteousness and injustice in the world, people of God need strength. That strength is available to us when we, as Peter said, “cry out” to God for that enablement. He is not only able to give strength; He longs to give it to those who come to Him in faith.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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