READ : Daniel 1:8
A lot of the young people that we work with in our church are involved in sports. They would all agree that disciplined practice helps their performance on the field, court or rink. What is even more important prior to participating in a game is making up one’s mind to play by the rules. If you approach a sporting contest with an attitude like, “I won’t cheat unless we’re losing or the referees are unfair,” then the quality of the experience for you and everyone else will be tarnished.
Daniel and his team of friends were rigidly controlled by Nebuchadnezzar as captive slaves. They had been given new names and were now being asked to eat food that violated the rules that they had grown up with. It would appear that Daniel’s team was losing, but Daniel had decided even before they were captured, that he would always obey the Lord’s rules.
How easy would it have been for him to say, “Who could blame us in our situation if we did as we were told by our captors?” Instead, he took a stand and asked the chief official not to force him to break the rules or “cheat” on his obedience to God.
Like Daniel, we need to make up our minds to obey God before we are faced with temptation, not after.
Lord, help us to follow the rules for living that you know are best for us, your children. Amen.