Being Envied for Righteous Living

“Then the presidents and officials sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom…”

— Daniel 6:4

Sometimes, people can hate us, not for doing anything wrong, but rather, for doing everything right. Shakespeare said, “Envy doth merit, as its shade [shadow] pursue.” Envy pursues after merit, even as our shadow pursues us everywhere we go. And so if you would be meritorious, if you would rise so much as an inch or two above the common herd, you will find that envy will be hard on your heels and breathing down your neck and blowing its hot flame breath singeing the hairs on the back of your neck. And so it was with Daniel and so it has ever been.

Daniel was preferred. Daniel had an excellent spirit. Daniel was envied and Daniel was conspired against to pull him down.

One theologian noted that there is a certain tendency in evil that always wants to pull that which is good down to its own level. Evil is egalitarian. Evil men want to make everyone else just as evil as they are.

If we are first place, a price has to be paid. If that primacy is as faithful and righteous as Daniel, it must be doubly paid for. The leveling demands of evil are for a democracy of being. Evil men seek to make all things evil. Men who are failures demand a universal failure, and men unable or unwilling to rise above their low estate seek savagely to raise all eminence into a common democracy of mediocrity and defeat. Daniel had done nothing wrong, but he was hated all the more.

Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, give me the strength only You can give that I might stand against evil. Thank You for Your protection and Your peace in the midst of trouble. Keep me safe, Lord, and keep me strong…