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How Denzel Washington connects faith to fame

Published: Friday, May 30 2014 3:10 p.m. MDT

Denzel Washington On Dreams & Goals

Hold up, everyone, — Denzel Washington has something to say about faith.

The celebrity spoke to aspiring actors this week and relayed his thoughts about faith and instructed the actors to be grateful for the opportunities presented to them. The discussion was posted to YouTube.

“I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you have to get on your knees in the morning to find them,” Washington said. “While you’re down there, thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory, we all got plenty.”

And he said it’s not about making money and being successful, but rather what you do with the fame and success that matters.

“Now, I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life,” Washington said. “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.

Billy Hallowell of The Blaze reported on the video Wednesday, calling Washington’s messages “passionate.”

“Encouraging the aspiring performers to make their dreams a reality, he told them that they needed to set goals for themselves. And he reminded them that, though they may end up with riches and earthly possessions, their true value will be rooted in what they do with and in their lives,” Hallowell wrote.

Washington’s comments will resonate with Christians most of all, as a lot of the phrases and tone he used connect back to Christianity, wrote Joseph Sunde for The Acton Institute blog.

“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,” Sunde wrote.

Washington’s words should be interpreted in a Christian context, according to Sunde. He references desires, dreams and goals, which all connect to Christian beliefs.

“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,” Sunde wrote.

But Washington isn’t the only star to speak out about faith in recent weeks.

Tyrese Gibson, the actor known for his roles in the “Fast and Furious” series, talked recently about how his faith helped him when co-star Paul Walker tragically died earlier this year, Christian Today reported.

"God's grace is all we have. Before we start filming we are going to have a strong prayer. That will be the start, before we film anything," he told celebrity gossip site TooFab, according to Christian today. "That is what is needed for us to do 'Fast & Furious 7.'"

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner

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