Character Matters

“Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and officials because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.”

— Daniel 6:3

Observing Daniel in the lions’ den passage, we see a godly man standing out in an ungodly place. We see growing here in the midst of this degenerate, pagan, idolatrous, polytheistic, licentious court, a most beautiful white flower. And I think that one of the first lessons to be learned in this is that such a beautiful character does not depend upon the circumstances in which it is raised.

You see, there are some things that you cannot grow in certain soils because they don’t provide the nutrients. But here you do not find the human soul draws from the environment around it. If it is a believing soul, it is grounded in God and it draws its spiritual nourishment from Him and it matters not what is around. In fact it is strangely true that some of the most beautiful of Christian characters have come forth in the midst of the most degenerate circumstances.

Yet how many times have we heard it said, “Well, if only circumstances were different; if only I didn’t have that miserable, wretched boss, always riding on my back, always on my case, I could be a much better Christian at work.” “Ah me, what a wonderful Christian I could be if I had a different husband or a different wife, or my children weren’t so rebellious.” “Oh, if I just didn’t have so many physical problems I could be a great Christian.” But Daniel gives a lie to it all. Here, blossoming in this incredibly pagan court is this character of Daniel.

Oh, Lord, give me the strength today to grow in godly character. Let my inward and outward life be beautiful to You. Help me not to resist Your inner work within me…