Academy award-winning actor Denzel Washington opened up about his faith, prayer life and the toll fame and fortune has taken on his soul.
Washington was a guest speaker at Betterman365, a Christian Men’s Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, Sept. 25, where he had a 30-minute discussion with his spiritual mentor, Pastor A.R. Bernard. While speaking to the audience, Washington was transparent about not being perfect, despite having played many endearing characters over the course of his four-decade career.
“What I played in the movies is not who I am, it’s what I played,” Washington said, according to The Christian Post. “I’m not going to sit or stand on any pedestal and tell you about what I had in mind for you or your soul. Because the fact of the matter is, in the whole 40-year process, I was struggling for my own soul.”
He added that people are living out the prophecies in the Bible with their self-serving agendas and noted fame and money don’t make a difference when it comes to the things of God.
“It [the Bible] says in the last days we’ll become lovers of ourselves. The number one photograph now is a selfie. So we all want to lead. We’re willing to do anything — ladies and young men — to be influential,” Washington said.
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“Fame is a monster and we all have these ladders and battles, roads we have to walk in our given lives. Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening, we all have our individual challenges. It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities,” Washington continued.
Known for many iconic roles including his Oscar-worthy portrayal of legendary slain civil rights activist Malcolm X, Washington said he’s been spending a lot of time in prayer lately and God has been instructing him to help others.
“In every prayer, all I hear is: ‘Feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do,” Washington said, admitting he asks God “What’s that mean?”
“What I found out in the last couple of years is there are all kinds of sheep. So that’s why I talk to experienced shepherds to help guide me,” Washington added.
This isn’t the first time this year Washington has been candid about his faith. With his latest film “The Tragedy of MacBeth” already being heralded as one of the greats – largely in part to him giving one of the stellar performances he has come to be known for – Washington said his mission in life moving forward is to honor God in everything he does.
“At 66, getting ready to be 67, having just buried my mother, I made a promise to her and to God, not just to do good the right way, but to honor my mother and my father by the way I live my life, the rest of my days on this Earth. I’m here to serve, to help, to provide,” Washington said.