What you resolve today determines your success tomorrow. That’s what Daniel 1:7-14 is about. Daniel made up his mind before he was faced with temptation. It is much easier to resist temptation if you have resolved to not compromise certain convictions well before you are in a tempting situation. I see three things to guide me as I set such resolve…
i) Know God – Clearly, Daniel knew God’s word and his standards. Even though he’d been through some tough times and he was far from home, God’s standards had not changed. He knew God enough to confidently say ‘test us & see…’ The time I take every-day to get to know God through His word and prayer are not wasted. It’s not empty ritual but extremely important equipping that transforms my mind as I ask God to show me how what I learn will apply in the situations I will face at work and elsewhere (Romans 12:1-2).
ii) Know Myself – I need to be aware of my situation, my personality and my particular areas of weaknesses. Where are the areas the enemy could most easily get me? Job 31:1 says ‘I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a woman’. Like Job, I need to make specific decisions, based on who I am.
iii) Communicate Graciously – I like the fact that Daniel did not brashly reject the food but instead humbly asked for permission to eat other foods. Living with integrity does not mean rebellion, arrogance or a holier-than-thou attitude. We can give honor to those God puts in authority over us while all the time recognizing that God is our ultimate authority.
Lord, please help me to always be a man of integrity. May who people see on the outside always be the same as who I am on the inside. May I have the courage to stand by my convictions in my work and in my relationships. AMEN