Words of Wisdom from Mr. T
On his new show, the legendary actor uses his Christian faith to help motivate and inspire people.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be like this football player, his name was David Deacon Jones. He used to play with the Los Angeles Rams. They called him Deacon, because when he was in college he would pray before the games. I said, "Wow I like that," so I started wanting to do that. So I would do the prayers in high school. And then those things stuck with me. I would go and see people and they would say, “Oh Mr. T, could you pray for me?” And I’d say, "I’d be more than happy to."
I am a sinner who has been saved by grace. It’s by the grace of God that I’m here. We all have sinned and fallen short on God’s glory. I come home and I ask God to forgive me for my sins. Everyday I ask for a new cleansing. I say, "God, let me show kindness to someone, let me give someone hope. Let me be a light at the end of a tunnel for somebody." I tell people, they say I’m a farmer, I plant the seed of hope, plant the seed of inspiration, plant the seed so they can start praying and believing again.
And it’s hard for some people to get believing. They say, "But I’ve been hurt by so many people and by some churches, or whatever." I explain that preachers might try to hurt you, churches might try to do you wrong, but that wasn’t God. God didn’t do that to you. That's somebody else. Because God will still love you even if you give up on him.
Was there ever a time or was there ever a time when you felt your faith slipping a little?
I ain’t going to say I was 100% all the time, but I never really faltered. I cried, I ate, I got mad, I said, I wouldn’t do things. That was my Job test. Job said, "Still you slay me, and yet I trust you." As I’m going through things, if I didn’t read the book of Job I guess I would have fallen apart. I could have said, "What kind of God does this and that?" But no, I understood Job, I read it. I know what he went through. His friends and his wife came and said, "You’re a fool. You leave God alone." And he said, "No woman, you speak like a fool."
The story of Job gave me strength when I had cancer. I said, “T, if you just hang in there, God will give you double for your troubles.” That’s what I was taught in church and that’s what happened to Job. What he lost, he gained more in the end. Job said, “Though you slay me, yet will I trust you.” God giveth and God taketh away. Blessed be his holy name." And that’s how I live. You know I came with nothing, I’m going to die with nothing. But in between them to points that’s what it’s all about.