Nelson Mandela embodied the power of the human spirit. For those of us in the church reform movement, Mandela was living proof that institutions can be changed and the world can be transformed.

This week end, commemorating Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5th, I decided to post some Mandela quotations that I find particularly challenging and inspirational.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

“I am not an optimist, but a great believer of hope.”

“Religion is one of the most important forces in the world. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew, or a Hindu, religion is a great force, and it can help one have command of one’s own morality, one’s own behavior, and one’s own attitude.”

“There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

“One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself.”

The entire world owes Nelson Mandela a great debt that can only be redeemed if we continue to work for peace, justice, and liberation.


3 thoughts on “Nelson Mandela: Inspiration for Church Reformers

  1. Thanks, Jack, for these beautiful memories of a true saint, “a sinner who keeps on trying.” It does give me hope.

  2. Nelson Mandela was and will always be an inspiration and example to us all. He was a true Christlike man. Let us all celebrate his life by redoubling our own efforts to promote love, peace and harmony and have the courage to face all oppressors who would take that away from our earth..

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