July 20, 2009

Dare to Be a Daniel

Daniel 6:1-16

They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy …
Daniel 6:4


Daniel’s life was marked by goodness.

While he was a Jewish exile in Persia, Daniel so impressed the king that he was promoted to serve as second in command over the whole kingdom.

But Daniel’s former peers didn’t like that. In their jealousy, they began to look for grounds to bring charges against him in his conduct of government affairs. They watched every move he made. They did everything they could to dig up a scandal. They probably even looked through his trash. But “they could find no corruption” in his character or conduct.

Daniel, of course, was not sinless, but he had a source of strength that kept him from caving in to temptation. In verse 3 of our reading for today, Daniel is described as having “exceptional qualities.” A more literal translation of this phrase shows that “an excellent spirit was in him.” That spirit, of course, was the Spirit of God dwelling in Daniel.

The Spirit was growing the quality of goodness in Daniel’s life, enabling him to act in righteous and trustworthy ways, even when the consequences meant he would face a den of hungry lions.

Goodness is not soft or sentimental; instead, it gives us courage to do the right thing, even when wrong is all around us.

Holy Spirit of God, cultivate goodness in us so that we will live trustworthy lives for you. Give us the boldness we need to avoid corruption, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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