Wisdom, Part 2 (The Man in the Mirror #48)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will continue looking at the quality of Wisdom from “The Power for True Success” by the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

What Are Characteristics of a Wise Person?

A wise person will love one who rebukes him. Proverbs 9:8 says, “Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”

The wise will consider the lessons of nature. Proverbs 6:6 says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”

A wise son delights the heart of his father. Proverbs 10:1 says, “A wise son maketh a glad father.”

A wise person loves the law of God. Proverbs 10:8 says, “The wise in heart will receive commandments.”

A wise person controls his tongue. Proverbs 10:19 says, “He that refraineth his lips is wise.”

A wise person wins others to Christ. Proverbs 11:30 says, “He that winneth souls is wise.”

A wise person listens to counsel and instruction. Proverbs 12:15 says, “He that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” Proverbs 13:1 says, “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction”

A wise person makes friends with the wise. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.”

A wise person knows how to use information in the right way. Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”

A wise person will avoid conflicts with leaders. Proverbs 16:14 says, “The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.”

A wise person will learn how to give precise answers. Proverbs 16:23 says, “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”

A wise person knows how to give good counsel. Proverbs 15:7 says, “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.”

Taking information through the grid of God’s Word produces wisdom. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, but without Christ, philosophy is void of both love and wisdom. Charles Spurgeon said, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.To know is not to be wise. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”

– – – – – –

Now, in closing, in order to be saved — in order to get right with God — you cannot look at the man in the mirror, but the Man Christ Jesus. First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how.

John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that -whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can have a home in Heaven. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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Wisdom, Part 1 (The Man in the Mirror #47)

In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will begin looking at the quality of Wisdom from “The Power for True Success” by the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Wisdom is seeing the hand of God in every experience of life.

The primary Hebrew word for wisdom is “chokmah.” It comes from a root word meaning “intelligent, prudent, cunning, clever; to teach, instruct.” Another Hebrew word translated
wisdom is “sekel.” It comes from a root word meaning “to be circumspect; to act prudently, to prosper, to have success; to have expertise; to teach; to give insight, have comprehension.” The stated purpose of Proverbs is to “know wisdom [chokmah]” and “to receive the instruction of wisdom [sakel].”

The main Greek word for wisdom is sophia, which denotes practical skill and acumen. One Greek word translated wise is “phro-ni-mos, which means “thoughtful, sagacious, discreet. It implies a cautious person.”

God provides a description of wisdom [sophia] in James 3:17: “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

Truthfulness, Part 3 (The Man in the Mirror #46)

In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will continue looking at the quality of Truthfulness from “The Power for True Success” by the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Let’s consider the question, How Can We Learn Truth?

We naturally tend to accept false ideas because the ways of death appeal to our human reasoning. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Therefore, it is easy to believe lies, which come from Satan, since he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 says, “When [the devil] speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Furthermore, if a person rejects the truth, God will send him strong delusions, and he will believe a lie. To learn truth, we need initiative and diligence in the following areas:

1. Filling our souls with truth. James 1:21 says, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

2. Studying the meaning of truth. Second Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Truthfulness, Part 2 (The Man in the Mirror #45)

In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will continue looking at the quality of Truthfulness from “The Power for True Success” by the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Let’s consider the question, What Does Truth Do?

There is power in truth, because it is the very essence of God and the means by which He carries out His work in the world.

1. Truth brings us into Christ. James 1:18 says, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

2. Truth brings us to the light. John 3:21 says, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

3. Truth purifies our souls. 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.”

The Good White People (Letter 21)


racismDear Y.B.M.:

As I write to you about how to handle prejudice and racism in this great country of ours, allow me to quickly say here that, if God blesses you with some good white friends, give Him thanks. Just as there are bad white people, and bad black people for that matter, there are also some good white people in this country.

Don’t let anybody fool you, if it had not been for the Lord using some good white folks behind the scenes, many successful and notable black people would not have attained the success they have attained. Now, before you take that as a negative statement, please understand that it is a true statement. Many of the notable black people in this country, past and present, did not necessarily pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Some have, but most have had some help from some good black people and some good white people. Watch this:

1. Harriet Tubman had much help from some good white people on the underground railroad.

2. What would Frederick Douglass have done without his white abolitionist supporters?

3. Thank God for the good white people in Phillis Wheatley’s life.

4. Would slavery have ended if it had not been for the force of William Wilberforce?

5. Would Spelman College and Morehouse College have so superbly educated our best and brightest, including Martin Luther King, Jr., without some good white people? By the way, these historically black colleges are named after some good white people who made these fine institutions possible.

6. Even though Martin Luther King, Jr. led the way in the Civil Rights movement, there were many good white people who stood behind him and supported him with their prayers, presence, money, and some even with their lives.

7. And, finally, where would Barack Obama be with his historic run for the presidency without millions of good white people supporting him, against all odds?

Dear Y.B.M., please do not get into the mindset that all white people are out to get you. Even though I would encourage you to be “wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove”, when it comes to racism and prejudice in this country, be open to God using some good white people in your life, to open some doors for you that otherwise would not be open, and vice-versa.

Thank God for the good white people.

Yours for being wise,

Daniel

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

John Hope Franklin said, “We know all too little about the factors that affect the attitudes of the peoples of the world toward one another. It is clear, however, that color and race are at once the most important and the most enigmatic.”

Cornel West said, “A fully functional multiracial society cannot be achieved without a sense of history and open, honest dialogue.”

Margaret Atwood said, “I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race and that we are all members of it.”

On Your Relationship With Your Father (Letter 9)

Father and teenage son standing outdoorsDear Y.B.M.:

Proverbs 17:6 says, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Ephesians 6:2 says, “Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.”

In your adolescent years, you will probably be tempted to rebel against your father and to disrespect him. May I encourage you not to yield to that temptation because all it will bring you is trouble. Whatever the situation with your father, whether he does right or not, still honour him as your father, and you will be blessed for doing so. Continue reading

Respect for God (The Man in the Mirror #11)

Today, I want to talk to you about the matter of Respect — particularly respect for God.

Aretha Franklin once sang a popular song titled “Respect.” The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield was famous for saying, “I can’t get no respect.” Perhaps you have been told to have self-respect. I am sure there are people you have respect for and people whom you would like to have respect from. However, the only way you will have a proper understanding of respect is if you have a healthy respect for God. That is what we will discuss today and in our next few broadcasts.

The Bible uses the term “fear” to describe respect for God. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” This fear does not mean being afraid of God. Rather, it means having a healthy respect and reverence for God because of His holiness.

Fear of God, or respect for God, is closely tied to obedience. If we have the proper respect for God, we will obey Him in our everyday lives. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Just as God hates sin, respect for God will lead you to hate sin and the consequences that come from sinning. And that respect will keep you out of a whole lot of trouble along the road of life.

Fear of God, or respect for God, is also tied to the gaining of wisdom and knowledge. People have a tendency to become proud from the knowledge or education that they gain. Even though each of us will only learn about a tiny fraction of all that there is to learn about the universe, we will be tempted to become puffed up with the little knowledge that we have. Having knowledge without a proper respect for God (who knows all things) is foolish. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Realize that no matter how much you study, you will never come close to knowing all that there is to know. However, since God is omniscient (all-knowing), He demands and deserves our respect.

Finally, today, notice that fear of God, or respect for God, is the foundation of self-respect and respect for others. Why? Because you and every other person in the world is made in the image of God. You and every other person in the world carries God-given potential, dreams, and destiny. Never look down on yourself or on anyone else. Never belittle your gifts and talents or the gifts and talents of others.

When you have respect for God, you can have the proper respect for yourself and others.

We will take more on this matter of respect in our next episode.

Advice for Young People Who Have Grown Up Without Fathers, Part 4 (The Man in the Mirror #10)

Today, I want to conclude our series of advice for young people who have grown up without fathers. Already, we have discussed nine things that you should do.:

1. Get to know God as your Heavenly Father.
2. Read the Bible consistently.
3. Talk to God about anything and everything through prayer.
4. Choose not to become bitter toward your father.
5. Choose to love, appreciate, and thank God for the parent or parent figure you do have.
6. Ask God to give you godly, older mentors and friends.
7. Do not let the absence of a father in your life become a crutch or excuse for not reaching your potential.
8. Commit to having an others-focused view of life.
9. Learn the principles of life from successful men in history.

Now, here are my three final words of advice for young people things that you ought to do if you are in such a situation.

1. Make the decision to be mature. In other words, grow up. If you have younger siblings whom you have had to help take care of throughout your life due to the absence of your father, you may be forced to grow up faster than you would otherwise, but that is fine. However, did you know that many adults have the mentality of teenagers or children? They interact with and react to the world in a childish manner. For example, if something happens that they don’t like, instead of accepting it and dealing with it, they complain about it or retreat from the world and refuse to deal with it.

You don’t want to live life that way. Perhaps someone has told you before to “act your age.” That is good advice. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Do not be afraid to put away childish things and childish ways of interacting with the world. You may feel insecure or you may lack confidence because of the hole left in your life due to your father’s absence. But, remember, your Heavenly Father is there to fill that hole. You do not have to shirk your responsibilities or shy away from difficulties. With God’s help, you can handle the punches life throws your way.

2. May I encourage you to live a structured life. Perhaps you have heard your peers use the phrase, “I’m bored.” Perhaps you have even used that phrase at times. What you are really saying is that your life (or a particular day) has no structure, no goal, no purpose. You have nothing to aim for, and therefore, there are no steps laid out before you which you should take.

If you live a structured life, you will never have time to be bored. What is a structured life? A structured life is one that is defined by goals and purpose. If you have a purpose to live for and goals to reach, then everything you do should move you toward reaching those goals and fulfilling that purpose. Start by structuring your days. Buy yourself a daily planner or download one of the numerous organizational apps that are available. Make a list of things you will do each day and follow that list. Put down even the simplest things such as praying and reading your Bible in the morning, exercising, eating a good breakfast, etc. Keep your schedule full. Even write down what you are going to do for fun and when. One of the benefits of living a structured life is that it will cut down on the temptation to do evil or to get involved with the wrong crowd. If you are single-mindedly focused on your goals in life, you will not have time for foolishness. As someone once said, “The world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.”

3. Determine to be a good father or parent to your children. Just because your father abandoned you, that does not give you an excuse for abandoning your children if you are blessed to have children in the future. If anything, your experiences should make you even more determined to be a good father or parent to your children. Do not repeat the mistakes of your parents; you are not bound by their failures. Learn from them, but determine never to repeat them.

If you are a young man who grew up without a father, you may feel inadequate because you did not see what a Godly father looked like throughout your young life. Do not let that hinder you. Look to God and His Word as your first example of what a father should be like. Godly men such as Tony Dungy, Tony Evans, James Dobson, and others have also written books on how to be the father your children need in this day and time. Get those books and read them. With God’s help, you can be one of the faithful, loving, strong fathers that this world so desperately needs.

These are just some of the things you can do as a young person to get on the right track even if you have not had the benefit of a father in your life. I hope that you will take heed to these things so that you can live a happy, successful, blessed, and productive life for God’s glory.

Advice for Young People Who Have Grown Up Without Fathers, Part 3 (The Man in the Mirror #9)

Today, I want to continue sharing some advice with young people who have grown up without fathers. Already, we have discussed six things that you should do.:

1. Get to know God as your Heavenly Father.
2. Read the Bible consistently.
3. Talk to God about anything and everything through prayer.
4. Choose not to become bitter toward your father.
5. Choose to love, appreciate, and thank God for the parent or parent figure you do have.
6. Ask God to give you godly, older mentors and friends.

Here are three more things that you ought to do if you are in such a situation.

1. Do not let the absence of a father in your life become a crutch or excuse for not reaching your potential. Often, when a person grows up with disadvantages or has some kind of disability in life, they will use that disadvantage or disability as an excuse for not accomplishing great things. Every time they fail or every time someone asks them why they did not reach a goal, they eventually come back around to an explanation that begins with, ‘Well, my father was not in my life…’ or whatever their disadvantage happens to be.

You don’t want to be that person. Your entire life does not have to be defined by your father’s absence from your childhood. Instead of viewing it as a permanent handicap, simply view it a hurdle that must be overcome. And, the Bible says that through Jesus Christ, we are overcomers. Learn to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Don’t be afraid to dream big and to set big goals. Don’t let a disadvantage hold you back from accomplishing everything that God wants you to accomplish.

2. Commit to having an others-focused view of life. Another trap that some people who grow up with a disadvantage fall into is living a self-centered life. Of course, all people struggle with this malady, but some who have a disadvantage may feel like they are entitled to feel the way they do. This is a sad way to live. Someone once said, “A person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.”

Don’t be a ‘small package’ person. Have an others-focused view of life. Think more about what you can do for others and how you can help others than about what others can do for you. In this case, your disadvantage of growing up without a father is actually an advantage because it places you in a unique position to help other young people who also do not know their fathers. You understand how they feel and what they are going through, and if you have overcome the challenges of such a childhood, you can help them do the same. Second Corinthians 1:4-5 says that God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Once you put Jesus Christ first in your life, commit to having an others-focused life so that you can be used by God to bless and help those around you.

3. Learn the principles of life from successful men in history. One of the traits of great men is that they leave a legacy behind. You can learn about the lives and legacies of such men by reading books, watching a documentary regarding their lives, or listening to them give a speech or interview. You can learn from the experiences of great men such as Winston Churchill, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and so many others, both dead and alive. You can learn from their successes and their failures, what to do and what not to do, and you can see how certain principles benefitted them throughout their lives and helped them reach the level of accomplishment that they were able to reach.

Take these principles to heart, learn from them, and apply them to your life. Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” In the Bible, the Apostle Paul told young believers, “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day…” What he was saying was, ‘You saw how we carried ourselves, you saw how we worked hard night and day. You ought to do the same.’ He also told another group of believers, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Dear friend, you don’t have to do this thing called life all on your own. Learn from the examples of others. It can save you a whole lot of trouble in the days ahead.

These are just some of the things you can do as a young person to get on the right track even if you have not had the benefit of a father in your life. I hope that you will take heed to these things so that you can live a happy, successful, blessed, and productive life for God’s glory.

Advice for Young People Who Have Grown Up Without Fathers, Part 2 (The Man in the Mirror #8)

Today, I want to continue sharing some advice with young people who have grown up without fathers. On last week I encouraged you to do three things:

1. Get to know God as your Heavenly Father.
2. Read the Bible consistently.
3. Talk to God about anything and everything through prayer.

Here are three more things that you ought to do if you are in such a situation.

1. Choose not to become bitter toward your father. Yes, by choosing not to be a part of your life, your father was irresponsible and he did you wrong. But you will not be well served by allowing a root of bitterness, resentment, or hatred to grow in your heart. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:15, “Look diligently [watch out for or be careful]… lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you.” The only person who will be hurt by the bitterness or resentment you carry in your heart toward your father is you. Thus, it is a waste of energy and time.

Instead, you ought to forgive your father because that is what God would have you to do and that is the only thing that will set you free. Colossians 3:13 says, “forgive one another, if any man have a quarrel (or grievance) against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.“

2. Choose to love, appreciate, and thank God for the parent or parent figure you do have. This comes easy for many young people, yet it is worth saying here. You may be raised by your mother, by your grandparents, by some other older relative, or by a combination of these. Even though you may not have the perfect family situation, you can be thankful for what you do have.

You especially ought to be thankful considering the sacrifices that your guardians have had to make in order to raise you and provide for you. You can reward them for their sacrifices by letting them know that you appreciate what they have done and by respecting them as authority figures in your life.

3. Ask God to give you godly, older mentors and friends. When I was a young Christian, God, in His wisdom, placed a few older gentlemen in my life. These men are 20-30 years older than me. As a young man, I watched how these older men lived their lives, I asked them questions about life in general, and I asked their advice on what I should do (and not do) in my life. The wisdom I gained from these older, wiser men has saved me many years of trouble, heartache, and pain. I have been able to avoid some of the mistakes that they made and that they warned me about making.

Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” To be honest, after I decided to follow Jesus Christ at the age of nineteen, I did not spend a lot of time with people my age. I spent time with those who were older than me so that I could learn from them. In fact, my closest friends today are at least 20-30 years older than I am, and, even now, I go to them for advice and encouragement at this stage in my life. I strongly encourage you to do the same.

These are just some of the things you can do as a young person to get on the right track even if you have not had the benefit of a father in your life. I will be sharing some more of these things in our next broadcast.