WATCH: With Over 2.5M Views on TikTok, Denzel Washington Explains How He ‘Put God First’


Denzel Washington quickly became a household name for his acting career. Countless blockbusters—such as Malcolm X, Training Day, and Crimson Tide—allowed him to rise to stardom. Whether a screenplay focused on military tactics or a film depicting real life on the streets, Washington has embraced each role. And, at a recent graduation, Washington challenges the graduates (and everyone) to, “Put God first.”

Denzel Washington challenged all graduates to share his reason for success

Washington has quite the platform on and off the screen. Recently, he was invited to give the address at Dillard University’s graduation. Just a portion of the address has received more than 2.5 million views on TikTok.

“Put God first in everything you do. Everything that you think you see in me. Everything that I’ve accomplished, everything that you think I have – and I have a few things. Everything that I have is by the grace of God. Understand that. It’s a gift,” Washington shares.

Listen to the portion of the address where Washington drives home his point of putting God first.


@revelationtiktok Put God first #Jesus #jesuslovesyou #God #denzelwashington #christian ♬ Get You The Moon – Kina

In the address, Washington goes on to share a story where a stranger spoke a prophecy over him. He was naturally at-ease and transparent as he gave less-than-stellar details of his life. Willing to be humbled, Washington shared a real story before his fame.

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He recalls, “Forty years ago, March 27, 1975 – it was 40 years ago just this past March, I was flunking out of college. I had a 1.7 grade point average, I hope none of you can relate.”

Washington was beyond discouraged. But, he remembers this day vividly. His mom owned a beauty shop, and Washington often visited her at work. This particular day, he was sitting in her beauty shop.

He continues, “And I’m looking in the mirror and I see behind me this woman, under the dryer, and every time she looked up – every time I looked up she was looking at me. She was looking me in the eye, I don’t know who she was and I said you know, she said somebody give me a pen, give me a pencil, I have a prophecy.”

“March 27, 1975, she said, ‘Boy, you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people,'” recalls Washington.

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Janna Firestone
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Janna lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two teenage boys. You’ll often find her hiking, paddleboarding, or enjoying a good board game indoors. She's an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan, and an even bigger fan of coffee, dry shampoo, and authentic conversations.