Class 54: The Value Of Working Hard And Smart (Part 3)
Welcome to Class 54 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young men. I am Daniel Whyte III, chairman of the National Association to Save Young Black Men in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men”. We are using that book as the text and its study guide to guide you through the course. The study guide was developed with the help of Jamie McCallum (M.Div, Truett Theological Seminary) and Charles Garrett (M.Div, Southwestern Theological Seminary). This course is for all young men, but especially for young black men and young men of color who oftentimes have a “difficult journey” in this great country called America. I call this class “the Ramp” to the Highway of Success because my goal is to get you on “the Ramp”. As a man, you ought to be able to make it from there. Out of respect for you as a young man, my job is to get you on the ramp and point you in the right direction, not to tell you all the details once you get onto the highway of success. With God, you can do great things.
Today, we are continuing our study titled, “The Value Of Working Hard And Smart”.
As we begin this lesson, consider these words from Thomas A. Edison. He said, “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
Let’s begin by reading the portion from Letters to Young Black Men which our lesson is based on:
Here are some good ways that you can break the slothfulness habit if you struggle with this universal problem.
1. Sit down and define what you are about and what it is you would like to accomplish in life. Set specific goals and pursue them.
2. Make up a time schedule and plan how you will achieve your goals. And then pursue them like a mad man.
3. Be determined with the tenacity of a Bulldog, that you will not let anyone or anything get in your way of doing what you know you ought to do.
4. Get into the habit of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Most people can accomplish more in a given day simply by getting up by 5:00 a.m. as opposed to 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. Try it before you think I am nuts.
5. Work your plan! Work your plan! Work your plan! And work it daily. Never, never quit no matter what happens.
Dear brother, if you desire a college education, then you will have to work for it. If you desire to start a business, then you will have to work for it. If you desire to write a book, you will have to work. If you desire the “finer things in life,” you will have to work for them. Hard work pays great dividends. As Saint Paul said:
Second Thessalonians 3:10 says, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
Now, that’s serious.
Now, please pull out your printed study guide or your digital study guide as we begin this lesson.
In order to achieve your goals, you must make up a time schedule and plan how you will achieve your goals.
Proverbs 10:4 says, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Simply creating a great plan is not sufficient. While a plan is vital to your success, it is absolutely pointless if it is not followed with diligence.
Proverbs 21:5 says, “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Pursuing your goals will be a process, in which you will need to exercise patience and perseverance. The need for instant gratification too often leads to debt and poverty.
Learn to follow your plan even when it feels as though progress is minimal. When you finally do achieve your goal, you will realize that the process was more rewarding than the goal itself. Be determined not to let anyone or anything get in your way of doing what you know you ought to do.
Proverbs 15:19 says, “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.” Those who trust the Lord’s guidance as they attempt to reach their goals will not necessarily follow an easy, temptation-free road. Rather, no matter what comes their way is incapable of leading them off the path because the Lord is the true guide.
When you decide once and for all to make something of your life, the devil will not let that decision go unnoticed. He will try all he can to tempt you to settle for mediocrity and the easy life. Keep your eyes on Christ and refuse to pay any attention to those thorns Satan puts in the path. You will be a much stronger man when you come out on the other end victorious.
Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” No matter what your goals in life are, they should be sought after so that the Lord may be glorified. When a child of God lives to his potential and makes much of his life, God is pleased and others notice. Thus, as you set out to defy the slothful life, make a commitment not to be discouraged when the going gets tough. Rather, in those times that it is most tempting to forget your plan, throw your goal out the window, and settle back into the easy going, unchallenging life, claim the Lord as your strength and continue in His promises. God receives much glory from a child who trusts Him enough to live beyond himself.
In closing, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people I grew up around said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “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.”
If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.