When we dive into the Book of Daniel, we can see a piece of our current present-day culture. Daniel gives us the wisdom needed to thrive amid the pressure we feel and stay faithful to God through it all.
Having lived through being captured and stripped of his family, rights, and religious customs (just to name a few) - Here are 5 phrases that Daniel would tell us today:
1. We play the hand we're dealt
Daniel didn’t go into Babylon complaining about his homeland. He didn’t lobby for laws that go against his beliefs; instead, he created influence with those he interacted with daily. He made and built a culture right where he was.
After God flooded the world, he vowed never to do it again. After the son of God left heaven and paradise to engage in our world, he converted death into life.
Daniel was deported to a new land filled with godlessness and made to serve a king who slaughtered his people. But through it, all Daniel looked for was how God could use him!
Don’t skip out and run away when things are bad. Instead, double down and remember that God can make the broken moments of our lives whole.
2. Our enemy doesn't have to hate us to hear us
We can disagree with people in this world and still love them. Loving others is the starting point of what it means to be like Jesus.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked, “which is the most important commandment?” and he replies for us to Love God and Love Others.
Daniel wholeheartedly disagreed with his chief of staff, but they got along. He was able to keep that relationship stable by being courteous and listening.
Listening to each other creates respect and shows that we are taking each other seriously. Next time we engage in a conversation with someone we disagree with or realize they think differently than us, try and use these phrases in conversation to help.
“So tell me your story - what has shaped your thinking?”
“Tell me more about your perspective – what brought you to these ideas?”
“I have a different opinion, but I am interested in hearing more about yours.”
“I’d like to hear more about your thoughts if you don’t mind hearing mine.”
“That helps me understand your beliefs; it sounds like we have some things in common.”
3. Don't trade truth for connection
As followers of Jesus, there will be things about our lifestyle that should set us apart from the culture we live in. We believe it’s good to follow the example of Jesus and not rush to accept the practices of this broken world.
We can see Daniel respond to the culture he lived in by following three simple rules in his lifestyle:
If God says to do it, then do it!
Don’t conform to the sinful ways of the world.
Guard your heart.
In Proverbs 4:23, King Solomon echoes the same sentiment when he said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
It’s good to have connections and convictions, but it’s essential that we don’t lose sight of our values through the people we surround ourselves with.
Remember these sayings when you find yourself in a situation with by someone who may challenge your convictions:
Let me think more about that.
I'm not sure that's me - still processing it all.
I don't know what I think about that - tell me what I'm missing.
I hope we can still be friends even if we have different ideas.
Sorry, this isn't me - but I'm interested - what's this about?
4. Are you living for your kingdom or The Kingdom?
Daniel didn’t bow to or create any political statues, nor should we. We live in an age when it has become common practice to rehearse political talking points rather than God’s word.
In Matthew 6:10, Jesus reminds us to pray, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
As followers of Jesus, we must remember to continue to be an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. God calls us to share with others how much he loves them and show them through the way we live our lives.
5. Remember that you're not alone
God was with Daniel wherever he went, through the highs and lows of each phase of his life.
In Daniel 3:19-25, Daniel’s closest friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego get thrown into a fiery furnace for not conforming to the culture and bowing to a false God.
Verse 24-25 says, “But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!
Like Daniel and his friends, God promises to be with us no matter what fiery furnace we find in our own lives.
If you're interested in other content about Daniel, check out:
The Life of Daniel, a two-week Bible reading plan that dives into more of the hidden details of a life filled with courage, wisdom, visions, and futuristic dreams.5 Facts About Daniel You Didn't Know
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