Standing Firm in Your Light’s Standards
We feel weak some days because we lower our standards.
What is a standard?
It is our level of quality, defined be each of us. As individuals, we develop our standards…our morals, ethics, or habits.
Standing firm in our standards is a personal responsibility.
When I think of my own personal standards a few that pop up for me are integrity, civility, authenticity, and forgiveness. I try each day to meet my standards in personal and professional life. I am not perfect, there are days I miss the mark. My goal the majority of the time is to stand firm.
Sometimes things need to be uncomfortable to remind us of our standards.
I remember a time a few years ago, family and friends were over at my house for a cookout. As I was in the kitchen prepping a few items, one of my family members began to tell a hurtful joke regarding a marginalized group. I could begin to feel myself bubble inside and think not in my house.
I flashed back to a time when I heard Maya Angelou speak in a Youtube video called the Power of Words. She shared how she responds to people who use derogatory terms in her spaces (house, office, etc.). Maya literally will stop people in mid-sentence and say not in my house you won’t.
I turned to the family member and stated, you will not say that in my house or around my child. If you wish to use words that hurt you can go outside.
Maya asserts in the video, “Words are things, I am convinced. You must be careful about the words you use or the words you allow to be used in your house. In the Old Testament, we are told in Genesis that in the beginning, was the word, and the word was God and the word was with God. That’s in Genesis. Words are things. We must be careful…..words get in your walls, in your wallpaper, in your rugs, in your upholstery, in your clothes and finally into you.”
My take-a-way from Maya is that the words we use we become. Ever since that experience quite some time ago, it clarified a standard for me, I will speak up in the presence of hurtful, derogatory words.
Maya reminds me that it can be easy to stand in a crowd and follow the standards of the group but it takes courage to stand on your own.
What are we willing to tolerate? How are we brave in communicating our standards? If we choose to silence ourselves, we may find ourselves upset with our choices and the consequences of those choices.
We can’t let others tell us what our standards are. Each of us have to decide that for ourselves. For each of us are responsible for the choices we make regarding our standards.
We choose days to stand firm in our standards and we experience days when we slip and fall from our standards.
Our standards must clearly be defined before we have the strength to stand strong in our habits.
For me, I go back to the word of God to help me make sense of uncomfortable times. God is my strength and in God’s word, I find patience with the process as well as guidance.
I remind myself that I will not let anything sabotage my space and when I slip, I reflect on places where I have lowered my standards and turn once again to God’s word for guidance to be crowned by His strength.
To fulfill our purpose, our high calling, we have to ask ourselves “Will I chose to live with low standards?
To stand firm in your light’s standards:
“Let nothing dim the light that shines from within”
- Maya Angelou