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Briefing: As law enforcement officers, we have people attempt to hide the truth from us on a regular basis. Have you ever caught someone in a lie and their pride would not let them admit it? They would go to their grave holding on to the lie rather than admit the truth.

Dispatch (Assignment): Does your department have integrity policies? Read Matthew 14:1-12.

On the Street: There are several types of pride. Pride you feel for other people like your children, when they do good. Pride for a job well done. Then there is the negative kind of pride that keeps us from admitting when we are wrong.

How would you define pride? We are going to study bad pride. Webster’s dictionary defines this kind of pride as, “proud or disdainful behavior or treatment”. I like the descriptions that come out of Proverbs better. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom”. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”.

Awhile back I watched a show on how hunters in Africa trap monkeys. The hunters would build a sturdy box with a hole cut out of one end. The hole was cut small enough for the monkey to squeeze its hand inside. The hunters would attach the box to a tree then they would place an apple inside.

The trapper would wait for a curious monkey to smell the apple and track it to the box. Once the monkey found the box, it would stick its hand in the box to get the apple. Once it grabbed the apple, it could not pull it out because the hole in the box was too small. The trapper would then slowly approach the monkey. The closer they got the more frantically the monkey tried to get away. The monkey did not realize that if it would just drop the apple it could be free.

Unfortunately, we can be just like the monkey when it comes to our pride. You can see Herod doing the same thing. He knew he should just say no to killing John but instead he let his pride push him around and paint him into a corner.

Highlights from this Read: Compare Herod’s sin to Eve’s sin in Genesis 3:6 and John’s description of sin in 1 John 2:16. In verse six, we see Herod’s lust and in verse 9 we see his pride.

Herod the Tetrarch was the son of Herod Antipas, who was the son of Herod the Great. Herod the Great was the king who tried to kill Jesus as a child. He ordered all the children two year and younger killed (Matthew 2:13-18).

Investigational Resources: Luke 8:3 is good background on how Herod had heard about Jesus. Mark 6:14-29 gives us a little more insight on the story of John’s beheading. In verse 20, it says that Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man.

For more verses on pride, see Proverbs 8:13, 13:10, 29:23, and Isaiah 25:11.

Officer Safety Principle: Does your pride control you or do you control your pride?

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!