“Out of Regard for His Oaths”
We have it in us, O God, to let ourselves get boxed in by what drives us—anger, fear, insecurity, lust, greed, ambition, for examples—so that we let ourselves get further boxed in by our words that in turn commit us to some action that we know, on reflection, would be wrong, but, one from which, driven by our pride, we won’t back down.
So first, O Lord, help us to grow so that we are driven by positive realities—trust, hope, love, peace, and mercy, for examples.
Second, may our words be inspired by those positive realities but, if we are tempted to let them be driven by negative ones, halt our tongues.
Third, if we rashly decide to or state that we will carry out some action that is driven by wrong desires or motives, give us the courage to swallow our pride and to change our minds.
“Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.’ The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother.” (Matthew 14:5-11)