A Higher Standard

Sequoia Houston

This past weekend, upon leaving rehearsal for a play, I got into a little altercation with one of my cast mates. I asked him, what to me was, a VERY simple question, and he took offense to it. He pulled one of those kitchen sink arguments so prevalent in female culture. You know the ones where you start arguing about one small thing and before you know it, the whole relationship is in question?….Yea, that kind of altercation.

The argument got so heated that I wound up calling him a “jack-a**” and telling him not to ever worry about me saying anything else to him again. EVER… before storming off in an Academy Award winning dramatic performance, rivaled only by that of Angela Basset in Waiting to Exhale. As I reflected over the events of the afternoon I thought of that good old adage “Never argue with a fool, because from a distance no one can tell the difference.” Boy did we both look and act foolish.

When I came home, after watching Whitney’s home-going celebration, I read my bible. I was immediately led to James 1:19-21, which states:

My dear brothers, take note of this: Every man should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

So you know I applauded myself for being slow to anger…because, afterall, he was the one who started the whole thing. How he interprets information is not my responsibility, nor is it my concern…he had no right to start with me. He should really humble himself. But then, as God always does, He gently led me to another scripture, Ephesians 4:1-3:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

BUT…!!!! *sigh* Alright Lord. I hear you. Although I am not the one who started the altercation, my job as a witness for God is to be COMPLETELY humble and gentle and make EVERY effort to keep the unity. Had I done that? No. Granted, he made it quite challenging to be peaceful, but I should have held myself to a higher standard. That’s the thing about life’s lessons. They don’t require that you always make the right choices…they give you an opportunity to learn from the wrong ones.

I took a few minutes to craft my cast mate an e-mail, apologizing for anything I had said or done that rubbed him the wrong way and quoted Ephesians 4:1-3, listing it as an example we should live by. As you have probably learned by now, I do not in any way, form or fashion believe that I did anything worth apologizing for, however if I am to be a witness for God…the only bible some people will ever read…it is important that I put my personal feelings about the situation behind me, and obey God’s word by trying to keep the peace. We have to remember that sometimes it’s not about you, but God’s work in/through you.

Now, my cast mate has not responded to or acknowledged my e-mail. I don’t know if he even received it, but I have solace in the fact that I was obedient to God’s word.  I am one step closer to living the righteous life that God desires. Whether or not my cast mate forgives me, apologizes for his actions or seeks to further discord when we see each other at rehearsal is beyond me. It is not my job to be concerned about what man does or says but to be consumed by what God does and says.

I know this is a long note, but I hope that this message, and my experience, has blessed you. I look forward to chatting further with anyone who might be interested. I pray that we all commit to holding ourselves to a higher standard, and living out what God says, despite what the world tries to bring out of us.

Peace and blessings,


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