Pride is a beguiling mistress. Pride can lead us to behave in ways that bring us attention and fill our souls with self-satisfaction while exposing us to criticism and judgment. In those circumstances where our pride has made promises we can’t keep, the same pride brings shame and destruction.

During the sermon on the mount, when talking about oaths and vows, Jesus made this declaration about making oaths and vows.

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

What did Jesus mean when he said, “anything beyond this comes from the evil one”?

We need to look no further than the execution of John the Baptist to see what Jesus was talking about.

On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.

Matthew 14:6-7 (NIV)

And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

Mark 6:23 (NIV)

Herodias hated John the Baptist because John had spoken out against her and her marriage to Herod. Therefore, when Herodias’ daughter asked her, “What shall I ask for,” her mother told her, “the head of John the Baptist” (Mark 6:24 NIV).

The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted.

Matthew 14:9 (NIV)

Thus we see, in Herod’s prideful oath, “Up to half my kingdom,” an evil result. The execution of John the Baptist. It’s unlikely that Herod literally meant that he would give half of his kingdom as a gift. However, Herod made a flippant promise that he didn’t expect to have to keep. At least, not in the literal sense.

I’m reminded of something Jesus said in Matthew.

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

Matthew 12:36 (NIV)

Indeed, our words have power. Therefore, we must be careful of how we use them. Proverbs gives us this insight.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)

Herod made a vow he didn’t expect to keep. In pridefully pointing out his vast wealth and stature, “half my kingdom,” John the Baptist paid the price for Herod’s careless words.

Therefore, we ought to be careful about everything we say. Whether oaths or vows, anything not spoken in love is bound to cause harm.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.