Recognizing Bad Opportunities
Have you ever argued with your sibling, a spouse, a friend, or whomever, and suddenly, they started to point out all the things you did wrong previously? Maybe, it has nothing to do with the current situation, but they let you know that ten years ago, you did a similar thing to hurt them. Five months ago, you repeated it, and even yesterday, you did the same thing.
It makes you look at them with wide eyes thinking, how did you not share all that with me then, but you are bringing everything up now. While there may be many reasons for their hesitation, one possible answer is that there may have been holding a grudge against you without your knowledge and may have been waiting for a perfect opportunity to make that known to you.
While looking for an opportunity may not be a bad thing, it’s what we use it for that makes it either good or bad. Using opportunity badly can destroy relationships, and cause harm or even death, like in John the Baptist’s case.
Mark 6:14-29 gives the account of the death of John the Baptist. Herodias had a grudge against John for calling her out on her sin and was waiting for an opportunity to have John killed.
“So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to…
Finally, the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!”
Like Herodias, Joseph’s brothers looked for an opportunity to hurt him (Genesis 37:18-36).
Like Herodias, Haman looked for an opportunity to kill all the Jews because of his hatred for Mordecai (Esther 3).
Like Herodias, Judas, after he had agreed with the religious leaders to betray Jesus started to look for an opportunity to do that. I had always thought Judas was trapped, but that was not the case. He knew exactly what he was doing (Matthew 26:14-16).
My prayer for you and me is that when opportunities present themselves, we will not use them to tear each other apart but instead use them for good. Let us build each other up, be quick to forgive, and refuse to hold bitterness in our hearts.