Dare to Stand Alone
There are few men in the Bible who have left behind an excellent example for believers to follow other than Christ.
Daniel is perhaps one of the best examples. I urge all Christians to read his story.
As a direct result of Daniel's example, many pagan kings in some of the most violent lands bowed down to worship the One True God.
How many of us can leave behind such a legacy?
Integrity to me means a person will live the way that he or she speaks. Walk the walk as well as talk the talk. It is easy to say one thing, but very hard to back it up at times.
Daniel lived a life of integrity even as a teenager taken into capitivity by pagans. He held fast to his beliefs among those who worshipped false gods...even when it meant he could be executed.
"But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials..."
Daniel lived by what he believed. He feared His God more than he fear the kings of man. How many of us can say the same thing?
As I get ready to leave one job for a new job (teaching..yay!!) I have the chance to look back on my Christian witness among people of many backgrounds. I wonder if I did a good job of providing an example of Christian integrity or not? I was told by one co-worker that I had not lived up to my Christian standards.
It stings to hear such words, but I also took them to heart. I had failed in her eyes. I learned my lesson.
Bear Much Fruit
Perhaps her words were part of my pruning that Jesus spoke of in John 15.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
I believe her words were part of the pruning process. It hurts to be cut like that, but it also helps. As a result, in my next job, I will do my best to live a life of integrity as Daniel did. I will do my best to live as I believe. I will seek the Lord who will provide me the ability to live as I believe and give me the strength to achieve His will.
Sigh. Failure is never easy, but we can always learn from our failures and come out stronger in the end.
As John MacArthur wrote in his devotional, Strength for Today (1997):
"Daniels' life was one of enormous influence, which began when he was a youth who chose commitment over compromise. He was faithul with little, and the Lord gave him much. Perhaps few Christians will have the breadth of influence Daniel enjoyed, but every Christian should have his commitment. Remember, the choices you make for Christ today directly impact the influence you will have for Him tomorrow" (-June 11).
Dare to be like Daniel today. Dare to stand alone. Be diligent to guard your integrity. Never compromise and your influence for Christ will increase daily.
Your Turn: How has Daniel's story influenced your walk with Christ? What other person of the Bible has had an influence on you?