Would you agree that being “open-minded” and “tolerant” are character traits that are highly admired these days? No one wants to be labeled as opinionated or politically incorrect. The result is that if you have strong beliefs about life, truth, or morals, either you may have to keep them to yourself or run the risk of being criticized or perhaps even ostracized. As our culture becomes more enamored with the “anything goes” and “just go with the flow” philosophy, it will undoubtedly become more challenging for Christ-followers to take a stand for their Biblically-centered convictions.
Do you think it was any easier in the time of Daniel? When he was chosen to go to the palace to be trained for royal service under King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel made a life-impacting decision. It was a decision that meant he could live at peace with his God and with himself. He purposed in his heart that he would not pray to any other God or defile himself in any way. (Daniel 1: 8) He was willing to take a new name and to be involved in the pagan education, but he would not partake in the king’s food because for him that was a moral choice, reflecting his willingness to participate in the rituals of idol worship. The result of this choice, while it was not easy, was that God blessed Daniel and his 3 loyal friends in wonderful ways. As they waited on the Lord for wisdom, for protection, and for God’s name to be revered, they certainly had no idea what the outcome would be, but in the waiting their inner peace was enormously impressive. Daniel’s friends even told the king that they knew “the God whom they served was able to save them, but if he did not choose to do so, they would never serve his gold statue or any other gods.” (Daniel 3: 16 – 18)
There is a gospel song which was written by P.P. Bliss in 1873, that says, “Dare to be a Daniel. Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!” Your resolve today will help you make the right decision tomorrow when your faith and commitment to God is being challenged!