In a short video that recently went viral, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington offers some spontaneous career advice to a group of young actors.
Although the setting is informal and his remarks are off-the-cuff and unrefined — sure to beg questions among theological nit-pickers — his general view aligns rather well with a healthy approach to Christian stewardship.
Watch the video here:
In keeping with the theme of “All is Gift” that runs throughout Acton’s new series, For the Life of the World, Washington emphasizes that we are created to be gift-givers, and that our gifts are not to be neglected due to our own idleness and fear, and neither are they to abused for our own personal privilege or gain:
I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you got to get on your knees in the morning when you wake up to find them. While you’re down there, thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory…but if you just start thinking about all the things you got to say “thank you” for, that’s a day. That’s easily a day!
We have a little boy in our show—we’re doing Raisin in the Sun—and we have a circle. We pray every day. And his prayer—this boy is prayed up. He just prays that we go out and touch someone tonight. He says, “God, somebody out there needs us tonight.” And we all have that unique gift to go out and touch people to affect people. Understand that gift, protect that gift, appreciate that gift, utilize that gift. Don’t abuse that gift. Treasure it. You already have it….
You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse…Now, I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can’t take it with me, and neither can you. It’s not how much you have but what you do with what you have. And we all have different gifts: some money, some love, some patience, some the ability to touch people. But we all have it. Use it. Share it. That’s what counts.
Of course, Washington’s words ought to be digested within the context of Christian obedience. For the Christian, our “desires,” “dreams,” and “goals” are not ultimately our own, and ought to be driven by the transformation and power that comes with the Gospel — grounded in the Word, led by the Holy Spirit, and born out within and through the community of God’s People.
But when we discern those goals and callings, and as we move from dream to execution to fruition, from Joseph in the prison to Joseph in Pharaoh’s house, let us each and every day “thank God for grace and mercy and understanding” in all that we put our hands to.
Use it. Share it. All is gift.
For the Life of the World is an entertaining film series that explores the deeper meaning of Salvation. Have you ever wondered, “What is my Salvation actually FOR?” Is it only about personal atonement, about getting to heaven, or something that comes later? Is it just to have a “friend in Jesus?”
Join Evan Koons and his friends – Stephen Grabill, Amy Sherman, Anthony Bradley, Makoto Fujimura, John M. Perkins, Tim Royer and Dwight Gibson – as they discover a “new perspective,” the BIGGER picture of what it means to be “in the world, not of it.” This seven-part film series will help you, your friends, church or organization investigate God’s Economy of All Things – OIKONOMIA (a Greek word that has a lot to say about God’s plan for his creation, the world, and us.)
This Combo Pack includes a letter from Evan and two discs for your player of choice: DVD and Blu-ray. Enjoy seven episodes around 20 minutes each, along with episode teaser videos, a series trailer, and bonus content.
Explore how God’s purposes are woven into every area of our lives: family, work, art, charity, education, government, recreation and all creation! The Bible calls us Strangers and Pilgrims, living in "the now and not yet" of God’s Kingdom Come on earth. We are also called to be salt and light, to have a transforming presence among our neighbors. Rediscover the role of the church and how our lives lived on earth matter in God’s plan for the world.
Designed for deep exploration, the series invites viewers to watch the series again for new insights. Also, check out the companion Field Guide to jump-start group and individual investigation and enhance the film experience! FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD Field Guides are available in print or via streaming access at StudySpace.org.