Monday, October 22, 2012

An Excellent Spirit is Expensive


Daniel is one of my favorite people of the Bible. Just read his reputation: "Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm." (Dan. 6:3)

It's a blessing to have such a testimony. Imagine being so trustworthy, reliable, honest, and even-tempered that the king would feel comfortable handing you the keys to his kingdom. Having an "excellent spirit" means that Daniel worked hard to be a just and honest servant. His reputation impressed his leaders, but not his peers. "Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him." (Dan. 6:4)

What was their problem?

Envy.

Those envious peers wanted Daniel's position and prestige without having Daniel's character. And since they couldn't attain to his level of excellence (by their own choice), they arranged to have Daniel executed. But we know the rest of the story: Their plot failed and resulted in their deaths instead.

What can we learn from this story?

You will not be loved by everyone, even when you're living right. Accept it, and move on. Living right is its own reward, and when we give an account to God one day, may we stand with the likes of Daniel, unashamed of our efforts to be people with "an excellent spirit." 

As the songwriter Philip P. Bliss wrote, we should "dare to be a Daniel" in this life:
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

I dare you. Dare to be a Daniel...or a Daniella. Leadership will appreciate you, and godly friends will cherish you, but those who struggle with envy and jealousy will not have you on their Christmas list.

"Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous, but who is able to stand before envy?" (Prov. 27:4)



1 comment:

  1. I have always loved that song, and I needed this today. Thank you for your timely encouragement. Praying for you as God is surely using you.

    ReplyDelete

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