Heroes and Villains: Herod

I'd like to live in this fantasy world where every decision I make is the right one, where every opinion I have is the right one, and where every choice that comes my way is made with the right one. Basically, I'd love to live in a world where I'm always right. 

Here's the thing, I'm not always right. In fact, some decisions I make are entirely unwise, dangerous, and hurtful. When others disagree with me, it throws me off my game. I question myself, I question my decisions, and I really wonder what other people think? Sometimes I discover that my decisions were the right ones. Other times, I find myself standing in the wrong.

I'm sure you find yourself identifying with what I've just written. How do you respond when you find yourself standing in the wrong? Do you begin to make steps to put things right? Do you sulk around wondering how you could have done better? Or do you simply argue with those who are in the right about how your decision was the right one all along even when it's blatantly obvious that it isn't the right decision? It's hard to accept that we're wrong because so often, we just want to always be in the right! It's hard to accept that we're human!

Read Matthew 14:1-12

Herod was in the wrong. He knew it. John the Baptist knew it. John the Baptist even took steps to make sure that Herod knew that he was in the wrong. Instead of admitting that he was in the wrong, Herod first wanted to kill John the Baptist. Then, at his wife's request (through her daughter), he did kill John the Baptist. 

Killing John the Baptist didn't eliminate his problem, it only caused his problem to grow. He was not only guilty of taking a wife that belonged to his brother but now he was guilty of murdering John the Baptist. His problem didn't go away, it just became bigger! When we try to eliminate those in our lives who love us enough to point out our sin, we're only hurting ourselves. We need these people in our lives! 

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
— Proverbs 27:17 ESV

What we learn from Herod:

Weigh the words people say when questioning our decisions. Is there an element of truth in what they're saying? Is there a change that needs to be made? Take it to God. Pray about it. Are you in the right or are you in the wrong? What steps can you take to put things right? How can you grow through this experience? 

Consider the crowd. How do our decisions affect others? I remember fifth grade DARE class where our police officer talked about consequences. There's good consequences and bad consequences. You get caught drinking and driving, there are bad consequences that will follow those decisions. You choose to do something kind, there are good consequences that will follow those decisions. No matter what choice we make, the consequences will affect the world around us and those we love. I remember this lesson because he had explained it in such a way that I had a huge, profound, "ah-ha!" moment that forever changed the way I view my own choices. How do our decisions affect others? When others are questioning my decisions, in some way, my choice is affecting them. Even if the only way it affects them is seeing the pain (or joy) that my consequences bring me. 

Be cautious with our promises. Let our yes be yes and our no be no. Herod was so pleased with Herodias' daughter's dancing that he promised to do whatever she might ask. Talk about a blank check! Blank checks can be so dangerous! Whatever she might ask might be the very thing you don't ever want to do. Whatever she might ask might be something that's unwise, dangerous, and hurtful to others. The consequences of Herod's blank check were hurtful to those who respected and loved John the Baptist. The consequences of Herod's blank check is that he lost a very valuable voice in his decision making. He lost the voice of wisdom. He lost the voice of right decisions. He lost an asset!

Let's take a moment today and consider the impact of our decisions. Let's ask God to guide us to make wise decisions! 

Let's Discuss! Comment Below!
In what way can you have John the Baptist influence in the Herods of your life?