Daryl Davis is a person I’d like to tell you about. Daryl endured many injustices as a child growing up in the south, including being the only black boy in a white Boy Scout troop and being thrown items (mainly horrible insults). Daryl went on to be a pianist and a member of a rhythm and blues band when he grew older. However, a friend asked him to fill in for him in his country band one day, so he went to a completely other location and sang a bunch of country tunes. After the show, a man came him and complemented him, saying he’d never seen a black man play like Jerry Lee Lewis. “Well, where do you think he learned to play?” Daryl joked back. Following that, the two began up a long conversation; however, when the man’s companions approached a short time later, they persuaded him to tell Daryl something crucial he hadn’t yet revealed: he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Nonetheless, he continued to cultivate a friendship with Daryl because he found something different in him that he appreciated and enjoyed, and he eventually quit the KKK. Daryl decided to make it a pastime to enter into KKK and neo-Nazi meetings and talk to individuals, reason with them, encourage them, and persuade them to doubt their beliefs after being inspired by this series of incidents. To date, he has helped at least 200 people break free from a life of racism and bigotry simply by being a friend!
My friend, this is an excellent lesson for all of us, since if Daryl Davis can walk into a Klan meeting and befriend and forgive its members, you can forgive your coworker for taking your stapler or your next-door neighbor for leaving his garbage cans out. You can also forgive whoever it is in your church that irritates you, as well as love and pray for your rivals. The best approach to lead people is to know and understand them, just as Jesus did; to recognize their heart, humanity, and value in Heaven’s eyes. Taking care of other people’s souls is the most wonderfully influential thing you can do!