Often we think we need to make a stand for everything we believe in. If not, how do we look different from those around us?
The problem is, challenging the whole kit and caboodle that doesn’t fit with our beliefs can make life annoying for those around us.
There is a different way to act or react that makes us noticeable as being wise.
One lesson stuck in my mind from a mother’s program I attended at our church. I’ve applied it to my parenting, but we can apply it to all aspects of life, including where we work or study.
That is: Choose what you go to the wall for. In other words, don’t pick a battle over every little and big thing.
With my children, I knew if I corrected them on all the behaviors I didn’t like, eventually they may get so frustrated they would not listen to me when it was really important.
We think if we relent on one thing then we will lose the fight on everything else.
It’s the same when we find ourselves in situations at work or college which contradict our beliefs. We believe we have to make a point because if not, people will not take our faith seriously, or it looks like we’re not staying true to what we believe.
When we look at Daniel, though, we discover he made a fuss about very little, and even then it wasn’t a protest, or a battle, or an argument.
Daniel, it appears, applied the same motto. Choose what you go to the wall for.
One thing Daniel could have complained about was his name. Daniel was given the name of a Babylonian god. In doing so, this imposed at least a subtle level of acknowledgment of the Babylonians gods on Daniel and his friends. In a sense, every time Daniel told people his new name, referred to himself as Belteshazzar, or allowed his friends to call him by that name, he was in a way accepting this foreign god.
Daniel could have refused to acknowledge his new name when his friends or Babylonian colleagues spoke to him. He could have refused to call himself by that name. We’re not told he objected to it.
However, Daniel went to the wall for one thing only and that was eating food from the king’s table.
There are many reasons put forward why Daniel refused the food. Perhaps it was to avoid eating meat, or too many rich foods. Or it could have been the food had not been prepared following the Jewish laws.
Most likely, Daniel determined not to eat the food or wine because it had likely been offered to the Babylonian gods and he did not want to indirectly look like he was worshiping these idols.
Daniel resolved to stay true to the one living God.
By exercising a choice over what to go to the wall for, Daniel and his friends didn’t upset everything in the royal court or the people around them.
Resolve doesn’t look like being stubborn about everything contrary to what you believe.
Standing up for what you believe sometimes means standing down.
Choose your battles carefully. Decide on one or two matters that are important—you know that gut feeling you get about something—and do it with integrity.
If you are in a job or situation at college where your beliefs are challenged left right and center. Don’t go all out for every single thing—trying to make a point at every turn. Instead, decide on one or two matters that stir your heart.
Then you will stand out for your wisdom.
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Linking up with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, with Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, with Holley Gerth at #HeartEncouragement