So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother”. Mark 6:27-28 NIV

I came home from work and the dogs greeted me at the door. I went upstairs to change before walking them and went into the bedroom. In the middle of my bed was a dead rabbit. I screamed and slammed the door. I went downstairs to feed the dogs and noticed a tin can lid from their dog food was face down on the kitchen floor. I picked it up to throw away. It was crawling with ants and so was the floor. I screamed and threw it in the sink. After all the cleanup, I was afraid of the next thing I might find.

I won’t say the dogs have never beheaded anything but I can say that my children have never asked for anyone to be beheaded at my request. Mark, chapter 6, records how and why John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was beheaded. John was a tell it like it is style of preacher. He pointed out your sins and told you to repent. Not all enjoyed his style.

Verse 19 says that Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him but she wasn’t able to because Herod feared and protected John because he knew he was righteous and holy. John had been put in prison by Herod to try to appease Herodias. She was originally his brother’s wife but was now married to Herod. John had told Herod that it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife which is what put him on Herodias’ bad side.

Herodias bided her time and on Herod’s birthday they threw Herod a banquet. Herodias’ daughter danced and was so pleasing that Herod told her she could ask whatever she wanted up to half his kingdom. The girl asked her mother what she should ask for and the answer was the head of John the Baptist. The king was upset but he had promised in front of the crowd so John was beheaded.

I’m almost positive that you don’t respond to criticism by asking for someone’s head. If a friend or spouse comes to you pointing out something in your life that shouldn’t be there, you probably don’t want to kill them. Romans 12:19 states, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

How do you respond when you know you are the one with the bad attitude? When God convicts you of a sin, do you push it under the table or immediately confess it and ask for his forgiveness? Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”.

Let’s not bite someone’s head off when something we need to change is brought to our attention. Let’s offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1).

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