I find people who believe their own hype to be tragic. It is epidemic nowadays for people to believe about themselves, what they know to be untrue simply because they hear the contrary repeated one too many times.
If the falsehood is flattering per chance, it becomes even easier to put on the rose tinted shades, and grow in your own eyes, discarding the humility that once kept our feet firmly planted to the ground. Some believe their own hype for so long, that they come to consider humility an obstacle, a hindrance, rather than a virtue.
As great as some may consider themselves in their own estimation, there exists and eternal, unbiased judge of all, who cannot be bribed, flattered, or otherwise made to alter the reality of what man truly is.
There once was a man who was a king. He was not and good and noble king as we would like these stories to begin, but one who harbored evil in his heart, persecuting the church with much cruelty.
His name was Herod, the selfsame Herod who killed James the brother of John with the sword, who imprisoned Peter, and once Peter miraculously escaped prison, ordered the prison guards to be executed just to save face.
Herod had been cruel and merciless with the children of God, yet no plagues had visited his house, no loved one had perished mysteriously, why Herod didn't even have a cough. During that same period of time the citizens of Tyre and Sidon had upset the king, and he became very angry with them.
Realizing if not the error of their ways, at least the fact that their food supply came from Herod, as men are wont to do when facing the prospect of starvation, they came to the king's courts, hat in hand, had the good fortune of befriending the king's chamberlain and asked for peace. Herod had a soft spot for grovelers, he enjoyed seeing people humiliate themselves before him, reveled in the idea that men would compromise their beliefs and dignity just to get into his good graces. Well, not all men, those Christians were still a problem, they refused to bow, they refused to yield, but he would deal with them another day.
Today, he would basque in the adulation of the people, and since he was king, he had to look the part. He put on his royal apparel, sat on his throne, and began to bloviate. No, he hadn't really prepared a speech, but what did it matter? The people would eat up every word he uttered, they would shout and cheer, and he would revel in their adulation.
The people of Tyre and Sidon knew they had to make it good, they had to put on a good show. Their bellies were empty, their children were starving, so they had to pull out all the stops to convince Herod of their devotion.
Before he could even utter the first few off the cuff remarks, the people began shouting, 'the voice of a god and not of a man!'
Herod smiled, 'surely they must be right', he thought to himself, 'here I am, immortal, with godlike power...'
That's as far as he got before an angel of the Lord struck him, he was eaten by worms, and died.
Because Herod believed himself to be something he was not, he did not give glory to God, he did not impede the madness of the crowd, but reveled in the idea that if so many thought he was a god, then maybe he was.
Too late, Herod discovered that he was mortal after all, and all the royal garments, an fools whispering in his ear, or shouting from the courtyard that he was a god, could not keep the angel of the Lord from carrying out his divinely appointed mission.
In the end, dust is all we are, and to the dust we will one day return. It's what we do until that fateful hour that will have eternal ramifications upon our souls.
Though Herod died, the Word of God grew and multiplied, and though there have been many persecutors of the faith throughout history, time left its mark, their end came, but the Word lives on.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.