The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison.
Have you ever made a promise to someone, but couldn't keep it? Surely, we've all been there, done that, at some point in our lives. How did it make you feel?
Did you ever, because you had not yet learned to say "no" with a smile, pledge to do something you truly didn't have time for? Or, even worse, had no interest in doing in the first place?
And, when someone promises to do something for you and doesn't follow through, does it change the way you think about the person?
Pause here just a moment. Reread these three scenarios. Recall an exact situation in your life when one of these occurred. Take a few moments to jot down the emotions you felt and the thoughts you had at the time.
Look closely at the words you wrote down. How are they speaking to you? Is there someone in your life whom you need to forgive? Is there someone who deserves your apology? Do you need to forgive yourself?
The bottom line is this: promises, large or small, should never be made lightly. A promise to your child to take him to the park is, to that child, as big as the one carelessly made with blustery bravado by King Herod.
Stop and think before you make your next promise.
Is it one you can keep?
Will you pray with me?
Heavenly Father, please prevent us from making promises we cannot fulfill. Help us to choose our words wisely when committing ourselves to another. If we do break a promise or someone does so to us, may we have hearts to forgive and forget. Thank you, Lord, for you never-broken promise to always love us. Amen.
Psalms (70), 71 or 74
Ezra 7:(1-10) 11-26