DAY 212 OF 365 IN 2021
MAKE ROOM FOR CHOICES
Reference text: Matthew 14:1-12
Matthew 14:8 At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!”
In Proverbs 18:16, it is written ‘A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men’; that is exactly what happened with the daughter of Herodias. Though she is often remembered as ‘that girl whose dance caused John to lose his head’, in a different light, she also qualifies to be described as ‘the young lady who danced her way into the heart of King Herod’.
Though both descriptions are accurate in their own right, the latter which is rather unpopular, contains a somewhat truer picture. At the time of her dance, there is little reason to indicate that the girl, still under the wings of her mother, would be so interested in politics to request a prisoner’s head as a reward for her dancing. She only did her best with the opportunity provided and because what Herod saw was pleasing to his eyes, he promised under oath to give whatever she asked. Then came Herodias’ with a suggestion her daughter did not refuse.
Beloved, a person can indeed be brought into the presence of great men by virtue of their skill and thus gain acknowledgement or recognition. That however, is just the first step. What they choose to do with that opportunity is the most significant dimension of their decision. Herodias may have obtained her revenge on John the Baptist by taking advantage of her daughter’s win, but in doing so, she robbed her of the opportunity to make a decision that would have been more beneficial – after all, she did the dancing. I am tempted to imagine what the girl’s request would have been had her mother not offered that suggestion.
This message may be aimed more towards parents and guardians, but there is something for all of us: there are many times when we ought allow others to decide for themselves. It doesn’t hurt to take a step back and watch from a distance as tough and sometimes life changing decisions are made. However, we ought to be prepared to offer guided counsel that has “their interests” at heart, not our