Picture yourself in your teenage years being taken from all you’ve known and thrown into a very foreign and luxurious life living in a palace, feasting off the king’s table and being “enlightened” by all the best scholars and sages. Imagine having every temptation, every possible manner to indoctrinate your beliefs thrown at you. Could you stand firm against such an enticing culture? I asked myself this question and I’m not sure I would have at 15 or 16. But Daniel did. He resolved not to defile himself and then practiced that resolve every day. He was consistent in his integrity. This is such a deep story and I am learning so much from it. I could talk about this for hours but I will keep it as short as I can for attention span sake.
I can’t help but see parallels between the Babylonian mentality and our culture today. Babylon philosophy- younger is better, appearance is everything, you have to be intelligent, social status matters, 'I am and there is none besides me.' Sound familiar to you? The first night I started this study I ran into the store to pick something up and I noticed coffee mugs for sell by the register that read I LOVE ME. A light clicked on inside of me. And ever since that night I’m noticing the similarities everywhere.
I really want to be like Daniel. I want to be able to resist the charms. I don’t want to be so absorbed that no one knows I belong to Jesus. The past few weeks have not been easy. It’s hard to let go of something that feels so good. It’s an everyday challenge to resolve in your heart not to compromise and be deliberate in your actions to make sure you know which influence will win out.
The challenge for today is pursuing a life of integrity in such an enticing world. Will you take that challenge with me?
(photo from here)