February 13, 2016

A New Pattern of Work: Integrity

Daniel 1

Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.

—  Daniel 1:8

Daniel and his community had been uprooted from their homeland and deported to a foreign country. They had left behind their culture, their way of life, and many of their religious practices. Surprisingly, God used this devastating event to put his people in positions of influence.

So we find Daniel and his three friends employed in respectable government jobs. Yet while God had placed them there, they lived in tension between honoring their employer and honoring God. The food supplied by the new boss conflicted with God’s commands. Did they consider compromise or outright rebellion? In the end, we know how they responded. The four colleagues respectfully proposed a trial period in which they would be allowed to eat according to their convictions. Their supervisor agreed—and God proved faithful! Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego worked with integrity, and God blessed them.

We too are surrounded by competing values and ethics. Sometimes the pressure to compromise our convictions can overwhelm us, whether at the office, in the classroom, or at home. Yet we have an identity that is given to us in Christ. Let us commit ourselves to integrity, faithfully obeying God’s Word and trusting him to bless us.

Faithful God, serving you with integrity is not easy. And sometimes the outcome may be harder than it was for Daniel and his friends. Yet you have called us to live as your children. Help us to work with integrity. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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