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Jayson Williams: How he Learned What it Means to Hold On to God (Gospel Light Minute #69)

  • Broadcast in Basketball
Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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He is a former American professional basketball player. Standing 6 feet, 10 inches tall, he played for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets of the NBA.

Though he grew up in a Catholic family and he always went to church twice on Sundays, a personal relationship with God never entered his mind until he walked into his cell for the first time and saw the Bible turned to Proverbs 30:8-9 - “Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

He said, "I always knew the Lord, and he tried to deal with me so many times privately. wouldn’t listen, so he had to deal with me publicly. That bought me 26 months of isolation time with just me and Jesus Christ. That changed my life forever. After reading Proverbs 30:8-9, I knew exactly what it meant. My daddy used to say, ‘Jay, hold onto the railing of the stairs when you’re going up them.’ In life, when you’re walking up the stairs, you very rarely hold the rail, the rail being God. My dad told me, ‘You’ve got money, you’ve got gifts, you’ve got fame and you’re not holding on to God.’ Any time I thought I was doing something that was not God-like, I would just donate a lot of money to some charity or some cause, depending on how bad the sin was. It came to me while I was in prison that it wasn’t my money anyway. It was God’s money. I saw what God was trying to tell me. I told Him, ‘Don’t give me riches because I will deny you are Lord. Don’t give me poverty because I will steal and desecrate your holy name.’ That’s how I live now. When I wake up in the morning, I go wherever God leads me." His name is Jayson Williams.