7 Life Lessons: Martin Luther


Some life lessons I learned from Martin Luther, from his “95 theses: Disputation on the power and efficacy of indulgences (1517) — close to 500 years ago.

The reason I’m writing this is because I’m inspired — those who put their lives on the line, to say what they truly believe in.

Also note, I’m writing this from the perspective of being a Catholic myself. I consider the selling of indulgences as horrible; and revere Martin Luther for bringing it to light, and reforming the church.

Thank you Martin Luther.

Some lessons I learned from you:

1. Bring the truth to light

Essentially Martin Luther wrote these theses; against the Catholic use of indulgences.

Martin Luther had a love for the truth; and a desire to bring it to light.

2. On fear

The less love we have in our hearts; the more fear we have:

The smaller the love; the greater the fear.

3. Heaven, hell, purgatory

Interesting concepts of hell, purgatory, and heaven. Not to consider these concepts after death— but thinking of these concepts on earth.

  • Hell: To live on Earth in Despair and Fear
  • Purgatory: To live on Earth in ‘Almost-Despair’
  • Heaven: To live on Earth with the ‘Assurance of safety’

So essentially, I think that we should first seek to live without fear. To live on Earth without fear is heaven.

To live on earth with some fear is purgatory.

To live on earth with fear, anxiety, and horror is hell.

4. Works of love

Love grows by works of love; man becomes better.

The more I give my love through my work; love will grow. And I will become a better person.

5. Build things with my own money

At the time, Popes were making churches with the money from the church. Yet, Martin Luther compels him to build extravagant churches with the pope’s own money — rather than from the money of ‘poor believers.’

My lesson: don’t charge poor people for information or things. Use my own money to build cool shit to help others.

6. Follow my own conscience

In putting out his 95 theses; of course, Luther got a lot of hate. He says:

Christ will see whether what I have said is his or my own.

He also brings up a saying:

‘He who is poor fears nothing; he has nothing to lose.’ – Reuchlin

Martin Luther is poor, has no prestige, therefore fears nothing:

Fortune I neither have nor desire; if I have had reputation and honor; he who destroys them is always at work; there remains only one poor body; weak and wearied with constant hardships.

Luther was called a heretic, and was probably fearful of his life.

But he was able to have a ‘clear and quiet conscience’ — because he spoke what was in his heart:

The one thing in which i put my confidence remains unshaken— my clear and quiet conscience.

Also all the hatred he heard— he says:

“What I hear is nothing new.”

What is the worst fear?

‘They plucked their flesh from off their bones’

Luther was probably at the threat of being burned at the stake; like a heretical witch.

7. Necessity

If you see bullshit; scream it at the top of your lungs:

Necessity compels me to be the goose that squeaks among the swans.

Speak the truth; at risk of death:

If i have deserved death; i shall not refuse to die.