Surrounded by guests at his birthday banquet, King Herod swore to the dancing girl that he would give her whatever she wanted, even up to half his kingdom. Prompted by her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Grieved at her request, but because his oath was made in front of all his guests, he agreed. And John was killed.
Keeping your promise or staying with your original decision is a usually a good idea. Far too many promises are made and broken these days.
But sometimes the initial decision, like Herod’s, is faulty. For many people, it’s just easier to stay with the first decision, rather than go to the trouble of attempting a new solution. Additionally, the desire to save face and avoid embarrassment fights against admitting that a change is now needed. This is pride and foolish consistency.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” ~ Emerson
Perhaps instead of having made a rash and foolish declaration, we now find ourselves in changed circumstances that lead to disaster and warrant a course correction.
In these cases, we have opportunity for personal growth.
Saul made a decision to persecute the early Christians, but on the road to Damascus, he had an encounter with the Lord who confronted his wrongdoing. He immediately changed his behavior and was not ashamed to admit he was wrong to anyone who would listen.
There are times to stand your ground and hold fast: times when you are operating from a place of principle, love, and conviction, not convenience.
Jesus and the disciples got into the boat to go to the other side of the lake. While He slept, a powerful storm threatened to capsize the boat. These fishermen were terrified and woke Jesus. To them, getting into the boat may have seemed like a bad decision at the time, but Jesus was being obedient to Father God’s instruction to cross the lake. He remained consistent to God’s will.
How to tell the difference?
Examine your original decision to see if it was made with wisdom, wise counsel, the instruction of the Lord. What did He tell you about your decision?
Check the level of humility or pride operating in the situation. Examine whether you are in genuine peace or complacency. As you are honest and teachable before the Lord, you will find your answer.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” ~ Psalm 32:8