PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’m reading in the book of Mark right now, and I just read the story of King Herod and the beheading of John the Baptist. I’ve read this many times before and am well-familiar with what happened. But something new hit me this morning.
Herodias’ daughter danced for the king and his guests, and in a moment that seems like a scene straight out of “To Catch a Predator,” Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. She ran off to get Mom’s opinion, and is told to ask for the head of John the Baptist. I seriously question this woman’s parenting skills to put her daughter in that position. But she did, after all, send her daughter in to dance for a group of much-older men. We probably shouldn’t be surprised that Herodias never received the title “Mother of the Year.”
The Bible tells us that King Herod was fairly fond of John the Baptist, and even though he’d put him in prison, Herod enjoyed talking with him (Mark 6:17-20). And in verse 26, we see how Herod responded to this request for John’s head: “And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her (Mark 6:26 ESV).
And because saving face in front of his friends was more important than doing what was right, John the Baptist was executed and his head was put on a platter for this girl to take back to the Biblical equivalent of “Mommy Dearest.”
The girl carrying around a decapitated head on a platter is a whole different issue and topic… but as much as I wish I could deny it, I’ve been like Herod before…
I’ve been in the position where Pride ruled.
Here’s the problem though… in those moments, Pride seems to be bigger than the whole situation, and Humility seems synonymous with Humiliation. But when we let Pride rule, we learn too late about it’s big, burly cousin, Regret. And Regret is even bigger than Pride. If I have to choose, I want to choose Humility. Even if, in the moment, it looks like Humiliation.
(Admittedly, though they are different, Humility and Humiliation can bear some resemblance… but as you get to know them, you recognize that Humility has a small mole on her cheek that is quite becoming and charming.)
If Herod had been able to embrace Humility, instead of letting Pride get in the way… well, let’s just say that anytime we invite Pride, eventually, Pride always invites Regret. And Regret is a party crasher.
Choose Humility over Pride. It’s a choice we never regret.
Today, as you pray, thank God for the gift of humility and the ability to learn from others… what to do and just as importantly, what not to do. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you choose humility, even when pride is terribly tempting.