LISTEN: “The Ramp” Course for Young Women (Class 66 from the MLK Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women)

Welcome to Class 66 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society, working 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 Magazine bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men” and the national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Women.” My wife, Meriqua Whyte, and my eldest daughter, Daniella Whyte, co-authored “Letters to Young Black Women” with me. My daughter (who has two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion and a master’s degree in human services counseling—executive leadership and is now pursuing her second master’s degree in developmental psychology) and her mother, developed the Study Guide. We are using Letters to Young Black Women and its study guide to guide you through this course. This course is for all young women, but especially for young black women and young women of color who oftentimes face disadvantages that others do not. The goal of this class is to help you operate from a position of strength and power based upon the Word of God so you can be victorious in life.  My prayer is that this class will empower you to win against your enemies: the devil, sorry men, and even yourself.
Today, we will begin our study, “ABOVE ALL, GET WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING”.
— First, Let’s Pray —
Allow me to begin with a quote from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.”
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read a portion of the corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:
Dear Daughters & YBW:
Along with getting a good education, let me encourage you to get wisdom and understanding as well. Education will tell you how to do something, but wisdom will tell you why you should do something. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said in Proverbs 4:7 that “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
You ask, how can I obtain wisdom and understanding? There is only one way to get wisdom and that is simply to ASK GOD FOR IT!
The Bible says in James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Wisdom cannot be taught. Wisdom cannot be bought. It cannot be borrowed or extracted from others. Wisdom can only come from God, and if you have faith enough to ask Him, He has the grace enough to give it to you.
Beware that you are not deceived by the perceived wisdom of the world. In this present age, worldly wisdom often manifests itself in the mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble spewed by leading self-help advocates. The world elevates its own; Therefore, such advocates have acquired large followings which have provided them with equally large platforms from which to share their self-aggrandizing pretentious nonsense. Also, beware that you do not mistake age for wisdom. Traditionally, in our world, age has been associated with wisdom and understanding. Therefore, young people have been admonished down through the years to listen to their elders and glean “wisdom” from them. However, even a quick reading of the headlines alone today will show that there are in fact quite a number of foolish-minded, silly-acting old people—mature in age, but bereft of true wisdom. They have not learned anything from the life experiences of their youth and they intend to carry on the follies of their youth until their souls leave earth for their eternal destination and their bodies rest in the grave. Experience must not be confused with wisdom. So, do not depend on any of these sources or any other sources in the world for true wisdom for the wisdom of this world is naught but folly with God. The “wisdom” of this world and the wisdom of God are diametrically opposed to each other.
Christian speaker, writer, and teacher Jen Wilkin offers a deeper explanation of this topic in her book, In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character: “We love to deceive ourselves that in choosing self, we have chosen rightly. And we love to deceive others that our choosing of self is actually not selfish. We become wise in our own eyes, as Proverbs says, giving the appearance of wisdom but inwardly desiring the approval of others.
When the Bible makes the distinction between Godly wisdom and worldly wisdom, it is not separating a higher form of wisdom from a lesser one; it is distinguishing between true and false, between wisdom and folly. Worldly wisdom is not wisdom at all. James writes:
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:13–18).
Note the sharp contrast James makes. Worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom are antithetical and adversarial:
Worldly wisdom self-promotes. Godly wisdom elevates others.
Worldly wisdom seeks the highest place. Godly wisdom seeks the lowest place.
Worldly wisdom avoids the mirror of the Word. Godly wisdom submits to the mirror of the Word.
Worldly wisdom trusts in earthly possessions. Godly wisdom trusts in treasures in heaven.
Worldly wisdom boasts. Godly wisdom is slow to speak.
Worldly wisdom says trials will crush you. Godly wisdom says trials will mature you.
Worldly wisdom says temptation is no big deal. Godly wisdom says temptation indulged leads to death.
Worldly wisdom says, “Seeing is believing.” Godly wisdom says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Worldly wisdom wields might. Godly wisdom works in meekness.
Simply put, any thought, word or deed that compromises our ability to love God and neighbor is folly. Utter foolishness. The height of stupidity. The worldly wise place themselves in opposition to God, operating from their own perspective of what is best, a perspective that seeks only the best for them.
But the same writer who implores us to distinguish and avoid worldly wisdom is also eager for us to know how to possess Godly wisdom. James reminds us that it is ours for the asking: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). This is a stupendous statement. Lack wisdom? Just ask. God will give it. Period.
If you find you lack insight and understanding, consider the possibility that you do not have because you do not ask. God waits for your request, eager to grant it.”
Dear daughter, do not wait any longer. Tap into your relationship with the Lord and ask Him for divine wisdom today. As scripture clearly says, He will not deny your request for this wonderful gift. True wisdom will show you how to use your education, knowledge, and life experiences to craft a brighter future for yourself and others.
In the next class, we will continue our study, “ABOVE ALL, GET WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING.”
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 church people 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, 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.
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.