Pleasing other people

Sometimes, like Herod, we already know in our hearts what the right thing to do is. Yet, we fail to do it because of peer pressure or our desire to please other people, to fit in.

An excerpt from today’s Gospel reading:

Now Herod had arrested John, bound [him], and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. — Matthew 14:3-11

In Mark’s account of the Gospel, Herod did not want to kill John the Baptist because he also liked listening to him.

Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. — Mark 6:20

Herod, despite his wanting to kill John, must have liked John’s message of repentance. He must have liked listening to the Truth.

Yet, because of the people around him and his wanting to please them, he still ordered John to be killed.

Sometimes, like Herod, we already know in our hearts what the right thing to do is. Yet, we fail to do it because of peer pressure or our desire to please other people, to fit in.

This is often what happens when we strive to please man instead of God.

Let us always remember that we do not have to please anyone, but our Father. And being His children, He is not hard to please because He loves us unconditionally. Yet, He is pleased with righteousness, holiness, and our love and care for another.

And when we please God, we, and other people, will be led to life, peace, and joy.

Who are you pleasing?


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