08 June 2009

An encouraging and challenging message

The last Sunday of May, we heard about the life of Daniel in relation to the topic, Workplace Living Christianity. A believer's workplace is where God has placed him/her to work. A question is asked: Am I satisfied in my job? Statistics reveal that only 13% find meaning in their jobs. In addition, 2 out of 3 are dissatisfied with their jobs. Several reasons for dissatisfaction include the boss' character, salary level, and workplace conflicts. How does the life of Daniel relate to this workplace situation? Daniel was the man who danced with the lions. How was he able to manage himself in a foreign, cruel land?

Three things that Daniel had which helped him to be victorious despite the difficulties he faced were:

1. His Piety i.e. his devotion to God, and he honored God more than his boss . His security was in the Lord. "But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way" (Daniel 1:8, NIV).

2. His Prudence i.e. discretion and discernment, wisdom and tact. "When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact" (Daniel 2:14, NIV). To avoid conflict in the workplace, we need to use the wisdom of God. To be wise means to use soft and kind words, weigh things, not being shrewd, not being subtle, not taking advantage, not having a crab mentality. Daniel stood firm for the Lord so his boss was able to acknowledge God and know Him and His power. He promoted Daniel. In his prosperity, Daniel remembered others. (Daniel 2:46-49).

3. His Prayer i.e. showed his priority is God and his relationship with Him. "Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" (Daniel 6:10, NIV). He did not compromise his faith which revealed his integrity and wholeness in character. (Daniel 6:4)

The challenge is that we should dare to be a Daniel, to do right when the stars fall, when no one is looking. This will result in pleasing God. And He will be honored, not only by ourselves and what we have done, but also by others, even those who do not know Him.

May we always remember this every time we step into the workplace and when we are faced with difficult situations.

Scripture reading: Book of Daniel

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