Today’s Reading: Daniel 1:1-2:23 (additional reading: Psalm 119:65-80 & Proverbs 28:14)
The life of Daniel is the story of a young man that “Lived a Life Without Compromise.” He lived a life of integrity. Webster’s defines integrity as, “1.firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility 2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness 3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness.” It is closely related to the word honesty. I defined it last week as doing what you say, and saying what you do. It is where word and deed are in agreement. It is sticking to your guns no matter what the circumstances. It sounds easy, but it’s not. What do you do when the pressure to change builds in your life?
Daniel and his three friends were among the hostages Nebuchadnezzar took with him back to Babylon. Daniel was from a royal family and only a teenager at the time. Daniel found himself in a pressure situation. His life was in turmoil at every level. His emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being was being threatened by world events.
Daniel was in a difficult, stressful situation that was going to test his faith and principles at a fundamental level. The Israelite was to change into a Babylonian. How was he to meet this challenge?
One way to deal with the pressures to our beliefs is to surrender. He could have sold out. Simply give up and bow to the peer pressure, circumstances, or whatever is compelling you to change your beliefs. Nobody would have blamed him, he was out of town. When in Rome…
Another way he could have handled it was to lie about what he was doing. Keep the court official and the king in the dark and do everything behind their back. No one would have been the wiser. Just eat and drink what you want in keeping with God’s law but pretend to be obedient. Fake everyone out. Many are willing to tell a little white lie as long as the circumstances warrant the lie.
How did Daniel handle it? He stood his ground by offering a solution. Daniel offered a win-win solution to his problem. He found an answer that allowed him to obey the Lord and obey the laws of the king. Daniel went in with confidence because he knew where he stood and he knew the Lord would honour him if he honoured the Lord.
How do you handle these kinds of situations? Do you just try to blend in or do you offer a win-win? Remember when we honour God he will honour us.