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Denzel Washington’s advice to Will Smith: The devil comes for you at your highest moment

Will Smith at Walmart Shareholders meeting in 2011
Credit: Walmart Stores/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 2.0

I haven’t watched the Oscars for years and probably never will, but there was a shocking moment last night when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after he joked about Will’s wife Jade Pinkett Smith.

Jada, who is struggling with hair loss because of alopecia, has chosen to shave her head bald.

Rock joked, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” a reference to the movie GI Jane when actress Demi Moore shaved her head bald for the role.

Will Smith would go on to win an Oscar that night for best actor in King Richard.

But during a commercial break shortly after the slap, Will said that Christian actor Denzel Washington counseled Will and gave some sound advice:

“Denzel (Washington) said to me at the highest moment, be careful — that’s when the devil comes for you. It’s like, I want to be a vessel for love.”

Will Smith would later apologize and according to reports Chris Rock has chosen not to press charges.

But Denzel’s words, that Satan comes after us at our highest moment, reminds me of Peter, who brashly claimed he would never deny Christ (Matthew 26:33-35).

Luke adds that Peter, full of bravado, stated that he was willing to go to prison and even face death for the sake of the Lord (Luke 22:33).

Peter was full of himself. He had psyched himself up and was ready to stand for Jesus while everyone else denied the Lord. Peter was ready to confront the Roman army and probably would have if he had been confronted by a Roman soldier.

But Satan chose a more subtle approach and completely blindsided Peter by sending a small servant girl who accused Peter of being with Christ (Matthew 26:69-72).

Having braced himself for a sword and shield, Peter was completely caught off guard by this sly attack and denied Christ.

And we know Satan was behind this because a few hours earlier, Jesus had warned:

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 21:31-32 NIV)

Notice how Jesus called Peter by his original name, Simon, not the name that the Lord gave the apostle when Peter would be the Rock on which Christ would build the church (Matthew 16:17-19).

Behind all Peter’s bravado, he was still Simon. He would only become Peter after overcoming testing and failure.

The testing involved sifting, removing the chaff (the bravado and pride) that we use to cover ourselves, so all we are left with is pure grain and an acknowledgment of who we really are.

READ: Tearful Will Smith Reveals What Denzel Washington Told Him About ‘The Devil’ Right After He Slugged Chris Rock at the Oscars

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