I hope that you are on the path to pursuing your life’s purpose by investing in and living out the gift that God has given you.
So far, we have been using the word “purpose” to denote the overall goal of your life, your reason for living. Now, I want to introduce a new word to help you get ahold of this concept even better. That word is the word “mission.” Business experts often advise that companies differentiate between their purpose and their mission. They say the purpose is why the company exists, and the mission is what the company does to carry out the why of the company. This principle applies to your personal life as well. Continue reading “Are You a Man On a Mission? (The Brother’s Keeper #56)”→
Every person who has ever been born has a God-given gift or talent that they should not hesitate to use. Some of these are unique spiritual gifts, such as those spoken of in Romans 12:6: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us.” These gifts are for use in ministry through the Christian church. But First Peter 4:10 tells us that every man has received a gift from God.
Yes, you have a gift.
Your gift is that which you are naturally good at doing, something that you have an inclination toward or a special interest in. It may be public speaking, leadership, business, sports, math, geology, or writing. The list is nearly infinite.
Some people know what their gift is from a young age. Others don’t realize what their gift is until later in life. I did not realize that I had a talent for writing until after I trusted Christ as my Savior at the age of nineteen. Prior to that, I had no interest in English or literature whatsoever and quite frankly I was not good at it in high school. Be that as it may, I strongly believe that it is much better for you to find out what your gift is as soon as possible and to begin investing your time and energy in using that gift for the glory of God, for the betterment of others, and for your own advancement in life.
This is largely something that you will have to do on your own, and with the help of family and friends who are invested in your life. Unfortunately, the public school system, for the most part, will not help you realize your gift. In most public schools, children are told to spend more time on subjects which they struggle with and to spend less time in those areas that they excel at when the reverse should be taking place. Unfortunately, many schools do not recognize your individual uniqueness.
Perhaps, the only thing standing between you and the discovery of your gift is the fact that you have never stopped to think about what your gift might be. Has someone ever told you that you are good at something that you didn’t think was that big of a deal? Do you feel energized by helping others learn something new? Are you a creative thinker? A confident communicator? Do you find yourself often encouraging and motivating others? Are you skilled at making things with your hands?
Take some time to make a list of the activities that interest you and the subject areas in which you excel. You can also ask yourself, “What is the one thing that I do better than others around me?” Both the list and the answer to the questions above will shed light on your gift or talent. You may even have more than one gift or talent.
Most importantly, pray and ask God to direct you as you consider the possibilities that are before you. He wants you to find your gift more than you do. And He wants you to use it for His glory.
One gifted individual to another,
Daniel Whyte III
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
T.D. Jakes said, “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
Maya Angelou said, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
Frederick Buechner said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
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.
I hope that you have committed to not settling for the mundane life that most people live. I hope that you are ready to reach for something higher. And, by “higher”, I mean the highest possible level that one can attain.
While you are seeking to determine the purpose of your life, please understand that any purpose that is truly worthwhile is one that is tied to a higher purpose. Your purpose, if it is to be truly meaningful, must be wrapped up in God’s purpose for the world. As the saying goes, “Only one life, twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
One day, you will die. You ought to be determined to leave something of significance behind. It could be a book, a movie, or music. It could be the impact you had on the lives of your children and the lives of others. It could be a business or a charity. Beyonce sang a song titled “I Was Here.” It starts like this:
I want to leave my footprints on the sand of time
Know there was something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets
I’ll leave something to remember so they won’t forget
You ought to have that same desire.
But, the truth is that the entire world will one day pass away. The Apostle Peter wrote, “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Yes, even the things you leave behind will be “burned up” when the world ends. So, does anything that we do now really matter? Absolutely, yes.
In order for what you do to matter in the end, you want to be engaged in fulfilling a purpose that has eternal implications. You want to impact people’s souls, not just their physical existence. You want to have an effect on their inner person. The highest form of this is sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people you meet. This can be done in a variety of forms, even if one is not called to preach. I know of a barn-building company that includes on all of its billboards and brochures the slogan, “Jesus is coming. Are you ready?” There is no telling how many people have been prompted to question the status of their souls simply by being seeing that statement.
While it is great to sell houses, cut hair, or make music, be aware that the people who are impacted by your work also have a soul that will live forever in Heaven or Hell. The most important thing in their life is their relationship with God. What can you do to encourage that in the area in which you work?
This is not to say that you cannot become a police officer or a teacher or a doctor. All of those roles are vitally important to God and to the world He created. But how you influence people spiritually will be your greatest—and only—contribution that will last forever.
Yours for engaging in an eternal purpose,
Daniel Whyte III
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
David Platt said, “There is indescribable joy, deep satisfaction, and an eternal purpose in dying to ourselves and living for Christ.”
Rick Warren said, “To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology, success-motivation, or inspirational stories.”
Woodrow Kroll said, “God’s purpose gives life meaning.”
Even Mo’ Letters to Young Black Men Letter One: Don’t Settle
When I was a young man, there was one thing I wanted almost more than anything else. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than me. I wanted to do something that mattered with my life. Although I was having fun partying and living life as I pleased, the thought that came to my mind quite often was: “There’s got to be more to life than this.” More than working a nine-to-five job. More than getting a paycheck. More than living the same, mundane lifestyle that I saw so many other people living.
I looked at the Civil Rights movement, seeing it as a period of history where people did something that was bigger than themselves. I considered becoming an attorney who stood up for the rights of black people in society.
There is a reason why young people have been at the forefront of major political and social movements throughout history. God has put in every one a desire to live a life that counts, to live a life that matters, to do something that matters. The problem comes when many people, as they grow older, decide to settle. They settle for the mortgage, the car note, the job they don’t enjoy, the steady paycheck, and keeping up with the Joneses. They settle for mere existence, and not really living. The only goal they look forward to is retirement.
This kind of life is a waste of the talent that God has given us. God would not put the desire to do something that matters inside of us if He didn’t intend for us to use it as impetus for our future. God has plans for you, young black man. He wants you to live a life that counts. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works…”
I did not find my true purpose in life until I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior on December 19, 1979, when I was nineteen-years-old. So, I was still a young man. I thank God that Jesus saved me. It has made all of the difference in the world.
Shortly, after I gave my life to God, He called me to preach. During this time, I also found that I had an interest in words and writing — something that I had not had before. By the grace of God, I have spent the past thirty-six-plus years preaching the Gospel and writing, and I am not ready to stop. I say with the old saints, “I don’t feel no ways tired.” That is the great thing about doing something that matters with your life: it never gets old. It is always fun.
Yours for never settling,
Daniel Whyte III
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
Rick Warren said, “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”
Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
John Herrick said, “Gideon saw in himself an unqualified, insignificant individual. But God saw someone He could use. God feels the same way about you. He sees potential and value that you might not see in yourself. He wants you on His team.”
Seneca said, “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.”
I hope that you have taken heed to the advice I gave in my first two series of letters to you. In doing so, I trust that by this time you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and that you are growing in your relationship with God through prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, and sharing the Gospel with others in your community.
I trust also that you are making headway on the road of education and that you are learning and growing in knowledge and understanding. Most importantly, I hope that you have prayed for and received God’s wisdom.
I hope that your relationship with your family members, friends, and acquaintances are strong and healthy, and that you have taken seriously the Biblical directives given regarding dealing with your parents, grandparents, siblings, wife, children, or what have you.
In the over twenty years since I wrote Letters to Young Black Men, a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. Honestly, I still have to say that our community is in a bad away generally speaking. But there are pockets of hope amid the decay, light amid the darkness. And, through this third volume of letters, I hope to nurture the light, feed it, and help it grow so that young black men in America may rise and lift their communities out of the mire by the power of God.
In this volume, we will discuss three very important topics:
1. Living a life that matters: Everybody wants to (or should want to) do something of significance with their life. I will show you how to find your purpose and pursue it with all your might.
2. Character and leadership: Our community needs people who are leaders rather than followers, but a good leader is not just one who can inspire, but one who has the character to do the right thing and lead others to do the right thing even when the odds are against them.
3. Finances and business: Like it or not, money is very important in this life. In this section, I will teach you how to get some and keep some. I will also show you how to live a life of freedom by working for yourself by doing a job that you love.
As always, everything that I share will be based upon Biblical principles and proven wisdom.
I hope that you are ready for this leg of journey that will change your life and benefit your family and your community.
I trust that you have enjoyed reading these letters of encouragement and challenge as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
When my little brother got married some years ago, I shared some things with him for his consideration regarding the married life, as all older brothers do, I am sure. After I finished, I quickly told him — using the nickname his college mates had given him — “Now, don’t try to use the things I’m telling you the same way I am using them. You have to put your ‘Tonio’ on it.”
By this, I meant that, due to the fact that even though we are brothers, we are still two different people, our wives are two different women — “My wife was born and raised in Jamaica, your wife was born and raised in America. You can’t just take what I say and run with it verbatim; you have to put your ‘Tonio’ on it. In other words, you have to ‘eat the chicken and leave the bones’, and apply things — or not apply things — in a way that is good for you and your wife.”
Y.B.M., put your “Tonio” on all that I have shared with you in this book, and in Letters to Young Black Men as well.
As we look forward to my next and final book in this trilogy of letters to you titled, Even Mo’ Letters to Young Black Men, we will discuss the following important topics:
3. Finances & Business
And a whole lot more.
I am writing to you today about the end of your life.
I read a book recently titled, “7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” In that book, the author used the phrase: “Begin with the end in mind.” When you think about it, that is a very powerful principle for all of us to take to heart. When you are lying in that grave, what would your life have meant? What worthwhile things would you have accomplished? What worthwhile things would you have left behind? May I encourage you, as that book encouraged me, to “begin with the end in mind”. Here are some things that you can do each day so that you can have a good ending as well as a good beginning:
First, live each day with God in mind. A good way to do this is to pray every day, read your Bible every day, and meditate upon the Lord every day. I can honestly say that ever since I met the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour on December 19, 1979, the Lord has been on my mind. Continue reading “When This Life is Over (Letter 25)”→
Over the years, the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, has helped me with many practical things in this life. May I encourage you to read this book at least twice a year. The Book of Proverbs has thirty-one chapters. Why not get into the habit of reading one chapter a day? The truths contained therein will help you greatly in your life. Here are just some of the key verses that have been a great help to me over the years:
Proverbs 1:5: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning, and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Proverbs 4:23: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Proverbs 5:16: “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
Proverbs 6:6: “Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
Proverbs 6:27: “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?”
Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.”
Proverbs 18:22: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Proverbs 15:16: “Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.”
Proverbs 16:16: “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”
Dear brother, just read the book of Proverbs, and be blessed. There are hundreds of other Proverbs that can help make you a grand success in life.
Yours from Proverbsville,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
Lord Tennyson said, “Bible reading is an education in itself.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!”
Someone said, “Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing.”
In this short note, I would like to say a word to you about becoming color-blind.
America is a multicultural society. America is not just made up of white and black, but of many colors, races, nationalities, and languages. If you are going to be a leader in this country, you had better shed your “black thing” mentality and become color-blind in your dealings with all people. To help you with this concept, here are some suggestions:
1. I have had the privilege of traveling all over the world, and believe it or not, all people are basically the same. No matter where they come from, or what language they speak, all people desire the same things, for the most part.
2. Learn how to speak the universal language of love. You must develop a loving heart for all people. Smile and shake hands. They are just as afraid of you as you are of them.
3. Show an interest in other people’s culture and ways. Ask them questions. Learn a few words of their language. Eat their food. (By the way, I would strongly encourage you to learn how to speak Spanish and Chinese fluently, in light of the new, global economy.)
4. When you get the opportunity, please travel as much as you can. You will get a perspective on life that you can’t get any other way. From traveling, you will understand what I mean when I say, “all people are basically the same.”
5. If you can’t travel, please take the time to read about other people and their way of life. There are many good videos available that will help you become more cosmopolitan.
I hope you will quickly learn this valuable lesson: people are really just people.
Yours for being Color-blind and at the Same Time Keeping it Real,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
Henry David Thoreau said, “It is never too late to give up our prejudices.”
Someone said, “Prejudice is opinion without judgement.”
Lyndon B. Johnson said, “Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”
I trust that you are treating your brothers and sisters “according to the flesh” more kindly and with dignity and respect, and I also hope that you are mature enough to allow God to give you some good white friends to help you down the road on this difficult journey.
It has been established that racism is firmly entrenched in this society. Frankly speaking, I believe racism will be here with us until the end. Here is how you can win over racism:
First, the best thing to do is ignore it and avoid it. One of the best things you can do for a racist White man or Black man, for that matter, is ignore him. Just leave him alone.
Second, do not get ruffled by racist/prejudiced people. If you get ruffled now, you will be getting ruffled the rest of your life. Always be cool, calm, and collected, as they say.
Third, “turn the other cheek”. Believe it or not, it works. It is kind of hard to fight a man who does not want to fight.
Fourth, do not allow yourself to become bitter. I repeat: do not allow yourself to become bitter. That is exactly what White racists want you to do—become bitter, angry and frustrated, because they know that you render yourself ineffective when you do so. Don’t let them get into your head like that. They know that a man who is filled with anger or bitterness cannot function or prosper.
Fifth, remember all White people are not racist or prejudice. Do not try to deal with the White community as a whole, but deal with each person on an individual basis. Treat them as you would like for them to treat you.
Sixth, become independent through knowledge and by having your own source of income, thus not putting yourself in a situation where you can be subject to racism.
Seventh, there are many dear White people who are not racist or prejudice; they simply do not understand some things. Take the time to help educate these good-hearted people in this matter.
Eighth, do not take racism too seriously. It is probably not that important of a matter right now. We can spend our energy in more productive ways.
Ninth, rioting, fighting, burning, and raising hell is not the way to deal with racism. All that does is drive the root of racism deeper. Avoid such asinine activities.
You can win over racism if you use your head and your heart.
Winning Over Racism and Prejudice,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
Marcus Garvey said, “I would be nothing else in God’s creation but a black man.”
Ossie Davis said, “I find in being black, a thing of beauty; a joy; a strength; a secret cup of gladness.”