Do you surround yourself with people that tell you want to hear or what you need to hear? It can be encouraging (at least temporarily) when you surround yourself with people that agree with your every idea. You can begin to think that you make no mistakes.
Just as well, it can be a downer when your peer group dislikes or disagrees with every decision you make or want to make.
There are times that God's Word will agree with us and our actions. Those are happy times because we learn we have lined up 'our way' with God's Way. Other times we hear a 'No' in scripture that informs us that we are off course and need to change. Ultimately, that is what was happening in our Bible text from Mark 6:14-29 -
14 Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about him. Some were saying,* "This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles."15 Others said, "He's the prophet Elijah." Still others said, "He's a prophet like the other great prophets of the past."
16 When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead."
17 For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip's wife, but Herod had married her.18 John had been telling Herod, "It is against God's law for you to marry your brother's wife."19 So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod's approval she was powerless,20 for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.
21 Herodias's chance finally came on Herod's birthday. He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee.22 Then his daughter, also named Herodias,* came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. "Ask me for anything you like," the king said to the girl, "and I will give it to you."23 He even vowed, "I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!"
24 She went out and asked her mother, "What should I ask for?"
Her mother told her, "Ask for the head of John the Baptist!"
25 So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, "I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!"
26 Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn't refuse her.27 So he immediately sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John's head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison,28 brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother.29 When John's disciples heard what had happened, they came to get his body and buried it in a tomb.
Herod likely had many people that told him what he wanted to hear but John The Baptist told him what he needed to hear. Was he so trained to hear a happy report that he couldn't do the right thing with a report of truth? It happens. When we inoculate ourself from the truth we become resistant to it. Herod had too many 'yes men' in his life. John showed up with a no ma'am report for he and his wife and rather than accept it they had a family feud that ended when John met his God face to face.
The guilt of Herod's decision seems to have haunted him because when he hears of Jesus (and all He and His disciples were doing) he thinks that the one man who gave him the truth must have come back from death. Herod would find himself unable to hear or respond to the salvation that Jesus offered the world because he had numbed himself to truth over many years.
How do you handle truth when it disagrees with your decisions? Do you attempt to silence anything or anyone that disagrees with you? Are you willing to make life changes to line up with God's Way when you hear it? Ultimately, to make changes, you need God in your life through Jesus Christ. With 'The Way, The Truth & The Life' with you, you can live a life that lines up with God and bring joy to you.