Today’s Reading – Mark 6 & 7

And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. (Mark 6:26)

In today’s passage we read of the execution of John the Baptist by Herod. It is apparent from the text that Herod did not want to have John executed, but because of the pressure put on him by his wife, and also because of his fear of the people present, he consented to it. He did that which he knew to be clearly wrong all because he was afraid to lose his popularity with the people.

John, on the other hand, was the opposite. He never calculated a decision based upon how it was going to affect his popularity. The very thing that caused him to lose favor with Herod’s wife was his preaching against their adulterous relationship. He was not afraid to tell the truth; to do that which was right, regardless of the possible outcome.

Of course, the Lord Jesus was like John, in that He would always choose right over expediency. He knew that healing on the Sabbath would upset the religious leaders, but he did it anyway, because it was the right thing to do. He preached against the people that eventually had Him put to death. He did not worry about how the people would react to his decisions. He just did that which was right.

I often find myself worrying about how people will react about my decisions. Will they get mad at me? Will they leave the church? It shouldn’t be that way. I should decide to do (or not do) something simply because it is right. The results of the decision are up to God and the people. Ultimately, there is only one person that I need to please with every decision I make, and that is the Lord. If He is happy about what I am doing, it really does not matter what anybody else thinks. Some decisions are not easy to make, some issues are not crystal clear; but at the end of the day, if a decision has to be made, it had better be a decision that pleases God. The pulpit is no place for a politician.

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