Be Persistent (The Brother’s Keeper #65)


Even Mo’ Letters to Young Black Men
Letter Thirteen: Be Persistent

Dear Y.B.M.,

You might be talented. You might be educated. You might be well-trained. But, all of that means nothing if you aren’t persistent. Persistence is what sets apart people who accomplish things and who are consistently successful from people who don’t accomplish things and who are not successful on a consistent basis. If you want to make an impact in life, you must be persistent.

The following verses from Scripture compel us to be persistent in all manner of things:

We ought to be persistent in doing good so that we might reap the rewards. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

We ought to be persistent in prayer. Luke 18:1 says, “Jesus spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

We ought to be persistent in the pursuit of righteous living. Proverbs 24:16 says, “A just man falleth seven times, but he riseth up again.”

We ought to be persistent in pursuing the things that we need and the good things that we desire. Luke 11:9-10 says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Persistence is very important if you want to live a life of fulfillment and blessing. Here are three keys to developing persistence in your life.

First, develop strong habits. If something in your life is working well for you, keep doing that thing over and over again. A car engine works the same way every time you turn the ignition. The car doesn’t decide that it wants to try out a new way to drive every day. Likewise, you must have strong habits if you are going to be persistent in life. Successful people don’t feel like doing everything that they do. But, they discipline themselves and do some things like getting up at 5 AM, spending an hour with God every day, and eating healthily instead of buying fast food, through force of habit.

Second, develop the ability to adjust. Just because someone is persistent, that does not mean everything goes their way all of the time. Persistent people get just as many roadblocks in their way as non-persistent people. The difference is, a persistent person will adjust, adapt, and roll with the punches. While you must have strong habits to succeed in life, you must not be so rigid that you freeze up when the unexpected comes your way. And, rest assured, the unexpected will come your way.

Third, develop a learning mentality. Persistent people are always pushing into new territory, and they must take the time to learn about the environments they find themselves in. A persistent person is humble, knowing that, at times, he must stop to learn about what lies ahead. Persistent people are not arrogant; they are willing to learn from others, particularly those who have walked a similar path. The knowledge you gain today may very well benefit you tomorrow.

In much of life, your success is up to you and your willingness to work hard, adjust well, and learn more.

Be persistent,

Daniel Whyte III

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Maya Angelou said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

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Be Authentic (The Brother’s Keeper #63)


Dear Y.B.M.,

The people of your generation have come up with a term that embodies what this letter is all about — “keeping it 100,” which is synonymous with what we used to call “keeping it real.” A “real” person, a person who is “keeping it 100” is someone who is authentic. The words means: “not false or copied; genuine; real; representing one’s true nature or beliefs.” Authenticity has a lot to do with honesty, which we talked about in a previous letter. But, while honesty has to do with being truthful with your tongue, authenticity has to do with being truthful with your life.

The world is full of people who are trying to be like someone else. They curb and contort their lives, their personalities, and their passions in order to fit a mold that they have determined to fit. This lack of authenticity runs through big decisions like career choices and educational pursuits, to seemingly little things like the way we dress or the cars we drive. This lack of authenticity also causes us to hide our flaws and shortcomings, and other parts of our lives that we think others may not approve of or accept. But this kind of living is living a lie.

Authenticity is all about living truthfully — whether those truths be bad or good. If it is a bad truth about your life (a sin), then you must confess and repent of it, and strive to do right. But don’t lie about it. When we are inauthentic, we are walking in darkness, and that is not pleasing to God. First John 1:6-7 tells us, “If we walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Jesus commands us to be authentic in our behavior when he said in Matthew 5:37, “Let your communication [your lifestyle, the way you live] be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” An authentic person is one who is not performing for the sake of others, but is living fully in the life that God has given him. Being authentic lifts a tremendous burden off your heart and mind. If you have confessed your sins and are striving to do right, you can live freely, knowing that the only Person you have to please is God. He gave you the personality, the looks, and the abilities that you have, and you ought never to feel like you have to be like someone else.

Be authentic,

Daniel Whyte III

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

C.S. Lewis said, “There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Christ will indeed give you a real personality. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.”

Brené Brown said, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

Charles Swindoll said, “I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.”

Albert Camus said, “Above all, in order to be, never try to seem.”

Be Passionate (The Brother’s Keeper #62)


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

Dear Y.B.M.,

One of the saddest things that I see in the world today is people who have no passion in life. They meander through their existence being acted upon by others. They have no vigor and no vision of their own. If you ask them where they would like to be ten years from now, they would have no idea.

Don’t be this kind of person.

The most successful people in life are passionate about what they do. Passion is defined as: “strong and barely controllable emotion; an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.” Is there something that excites you? Something that gets you out of bed in the morning? If it is not your work, is there something that you look forward to at the end of the day or the end of the week? What do you live for?

Interestingly, the trial, torture, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is referred to as His “Passion.” Standing before Pilate, Jesus said, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.” Yes, Jesus’ Passion involved His own suffering, but that did not deter Him from His purpose.

Have you figured out why you are in the world? Do you know the purpose for which you were born? Until you find this passion for living, you will be like the proverbial fish lying on the grass. No matter how much you try to adjust and adapt to the grass, you will grow weaker and weaker. You will eventually die, a life wasted. Only when the fish is in the water does he thrive.

When trying to find your passion, don’t follow money, don’t follow success, don’t follow others. First, ask God to show you what He wants you to do with your life. You will find that He has uniquely gifted you with the ability to do His will for you. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Then, listen to your heart. Most of us never do this. We sacrifice our true desires in order to fit in with others, to be accepted, or to follow a path set for us by our parents, by our desire for money, or by our desire for ease and worldly success. But, such a life always ends in dissatisfaction. Only when you follow your passion and God’s passion for you will you live a life of fulfillment and peace of mind and heart. Nothing is more satisfying than that.

Be passionate,

Daniel Whyte III

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Elon Musk said, “People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”

John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”


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.

Be Honest (The Brother’s Keeper #60)


Dear Y.B.M.,

One of the first marks of a young man who has good character is honesty. Because there are so many people who will be dishonest to keep a job, to get money, or to get out of a bad situation, the world wants, and desperately needs, honest men who will stand up for truth in every situation.

It is evident that God hates the sin of dishonesty by the number of times He warns against it in His Holy Word. Here are a few verses from the Bible that refer to the sin of lying:

Exodus 20:16 says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”

Proverbs 19:9 says, “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.”

Romans 13:13 says, “Let us walk honestly.”

2 Corinthians 8:21 says, “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

There is no instance in which lying will help you better than telling the truth. I have learned by experience that people will respect you more and get along with you better if you tell them the truth — even if you think it will make you look bad in their sight. Some people who are worried about others’ opinions of them build a house of lies around themselves — they lie about their past, they lie about who they are, they lie about what they have done. The problem is that once someone finds out that you lied to them about one thing, you give them reason to question whether you have lied to them about other things. In every situation, it is best to be upfront and honest.

No matter what you do, or what anybody else does, do not lie. Do not be afraid to tell the truth on yourself or on anybody else. Live a life of transparency and authenticity. Don’t try to appear as someone that you are not.

In the end, the truth always wins.

Daniel Whyte III

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Thomas Jefferson said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

Zig Ziglar said, “The foundation stones for balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

William Shakespeare said, “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

Virginia Woolf said, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

Albert Einstein said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

Be a Leader of Yourself First (The Brother’s Keeper #59)


Dear Y.B.M.,

In my first series of letters, I strongly encouraged you to “think for yourself.” Today, as we begin this second section in Even Mo’ Letters to Young Black Men, “On Character & Leadership,” I want to strongly encourage you to be a leader but be a leader of yourself first.

That terminology might sound odd at first, but bear with me. I believe that more young black men should be leaders. You may not have any followers right now, but, under God and with God’s blessings, you ought to be a person who thinks for himself and follows his own mind based upon God’s will and God’s Word regarding the direction of your life.

This world has too many followers and too many people looking for someone to take them by the hand and show them the way — all of the way. I stopped following people long ago when I realized that Jesus is the only Leader I need. Most importantly, He is the only Leader who will never let you down. And, because I follow Christ alone, He has blessed me with the privilege of being a leader to others.

The Apostle Paul rebuked some folk for creating factions in the church because they were obsessed with which human leader they were following (including him). Some were saying, “I follow Paul.” Others said, “I follow Apollos.” And others said, “I follow Cephas.” But Paul said, ‘I thank God I have not baptized any of you. I’m not following anybody but Jesus.’ And because he was following Jesus alone, he was bold enough to tell people, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

I want you to be able to say the same thing. Get your life in order under the direction and headship of God through Jesus Christ and you will be ready to be a leader in your own right for the glory of God and for the benefit of many others. Now, this does not mean that you can’t listen to advice from others who are older and wiser. I have a small circle of pastors and leaders who are twenty to thirty years older than me from whom I learn and seek advice. And, thanks to God, these guys have been with for some twenty to thirty years. I listen to their counsel, but I make my own decisions, I take responsibility for those decisions, and I accept the consequences of those decisions be they good or bad. I encourage you to do the same.

There are many different types of leaders. Some are loud and bombastic; others are quiet and contemplative. Don’t be concerned about style. People recognize great, positive leadership when they see it. If you start taking the lead in your own life now, and start leading yourself first, you will be prepared to be a leader, a mentor, a guide, and a role model in your family, in your community, in your church, and in the world.. One day, you may look up and find that people are actually following you as you follow Christ.

Love well. Lead well.

Daniel Whyte III

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Tony Evans said, “A kingdom man may be defined as a man who positions himself and operates according to the comprehensive rule of God over every area of his life. And every area of life should feel the impact of a kingdom man’s presence.”

John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Tony Dungy said, “The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a railroad maintenance gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

Satisfied (The Brother’s Keeper #58)

Dear Y.B.M.,

The word satisfied means contented, pleased, or fulfilled.

Most people are unsatisfied with their lives. According to Harris Polls, 67% of Americans are not happy with their existence. The song they sing is, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” They live unsatisfied and they die unsatisfied. In this letter, I will show you how not to live (or die) that way. But, first, what are some reasons why the default setting for most people is “unsatisfied”?

The first reason is because most people pursue only material success. Yes, many of those who count themselves as successful are unsatisfied. Raj Raghunathan, a professor of marketing at The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, wrote a whole book on why accomplished people are not happy with their lives. The problem, he said, is that most people pursue “yardsticks” that signify accomplishment. They chase money and recognition which is a sure recipe for dissatisfaction. “Those yardsticks are ones that people adapt to really quickly. So if you get a huge raise this month, you might be happy for a month, two months, maybe six months. But after that, you’re going to get used to it and you’re going to want another big bump. And you’ll want to keep getting those in order to sustain your happiness levels.” It is sinful human nature that the more you get, the more you want, and this will always leave you unsatisfied. Even if people recognize you for your accomplishments, half of them will be envious of you, and the other half, once they pat you on the back, won’t give you that recognition again, so even that is fleeting and, therefore, cannot be satisfying.

The other main reason why people are unsatisfied with life is that their focus is always on themselves. It is the worship of ego, or what philosopher Immanuel Kant called “your precious little self.” Dr. Steve McSwain said, “Ego is distinguished by the fact that it is self-centered, self-obsessed, and self-absorbed.” Motivational speaker and writer Wayne Dyer said the goal of ego is to “edge God out,” and I will add it edges others out as well. You, more than anyone else, know that you are not perfect. And because of that, you will never be satisfied with yourself or your life.

So, how can one live a satisfied life? The secret to satisfaction rests in knowing, believing, and living in light of the goodness of God. Man is not perfect. This world is not perfect. But God is. And, in His perfection, He seeks our highest good. David expressed this knowledge of the goodness of God when He wrote in Psalm 16:2, “Thou art my Lord: my goodness is nothing apart from thee.” He knew where to look for satisfaction in life. Psalm 73: 25 says, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”

Those who are truly satisfied do not focus on themselves or on what they can get from life in this world, because, as the Bible says, “this world passeth away.” The only way to be content, satisfied, and fulfilled in this life is to know God by believing on Jesus Christ, God’s Son. You must get out of your mind that such things come from the success you gain, the accomplishments you achieve, the money you make, or the level of “self-actualization” that you reach. You will only be 100% satisfied when you know God through His Son Jesus Christ and when you are living according to His will and His word.

You don’t have to be like most people. You can be

Satisfied,

Daniel Whyte III

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Oswald Chambers said, “The man or woman who does not know God demands an infinite satisfaction from other human beings which they cannot give, and in the case of the man, he becomes tyrannical and cruel. It springs from this one thing, the human heart must have satisfaction, but there is only one Being who can satisfy the last abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.”

John Piper said, “Every ounce of good in this world comes from God. Nothing can possibly be good unless it comes from God. A joyful Christian believes this truth. He banks his life — and his joy — on it. God is good. God alone is good. And all good comes from God.”

Albert Schweitzer said, “The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.”

Charles Spurgeon said, “In spiritual things, when God has raised a desire, He always gratifies it; hence the longing is prophetic of the blessing. In no case is the desire of the living thing excited to produce distress, but in order that it may seek and find satisfaction.”

Joni Eareckson Tada said, “Real satisfaction comes not in understanding God’s motives, but in understanding His character, in trusting in His promises, and in leaning on Him and resting in Him as the Sovereign who knows what He is doing and does all things well.”

Don’t Settle (The Brother’s Keeper #53)

Even Mo’ Letters to Young Black Men
Letter One: Don’t Settle


Dear Y.B.M.,

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.”