Ever been in a scenario where you/someone you know got an instruction/request at work/business that conflicted with their values?
Bible reading Daniel 1:8-21
It is not clear what specific reasons led to Daniel’s refusal to indulge in the king’s daily buffet. But we can suspect that this decision was influenced by his faith. With amazing tact and sensitivity, taking care that he doesn’t put the supervisor at odds with the king, Daniel negotiated for a probation period within which his decision would be piloted.
In Biblical imagery, Babylon is a place whose culture and systems are set against God’s ways. Most of us work in Babylon-like environments. We spend most of our awake hours in ‘Babylon’. How things work at your workplace, or in business, or in college or in your industry diverges from how we know God wants things to work.
What are some of the things that happen in the ‘Babylon’ that you may be working in?
- Undercutting each other to get promoted
- Bribes and kickbacks to win tenders
- Proliferation of counterfeit goods
- Sexual harassment and sexual favors
- Exploiting customers
- Cheating in exams
There are 3 tools that Daniel’s story offers us today to help us overcome the pressure thrown at us by ‘Babylon’.
- Predetermine your Resistance We need to have our predetermined positions about the offers from ‘Babylon’. Our answers need to be ready before the offer is made. We do not decide whether or not to accept/give sexual favors for promotion when the offer has been made. It has to be a decision we made way before. And when giving our response we must have thought through the implications of our position on such matters. A response may mean losing a job or missing a deal. What are your convictions?
- Have a Resistance army We need friends to give us the moral/spiritual/social support. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 teaches that 2 are better than 1. The result of their work is better. Having people who share our values and understand our stand on certain work offers is crucial because when our boycott provokes opposition we have a support system to lean on. The verse warns that one who is alone can only be pitied because there will be no one to pick him/her up when he/she falls. We should make every effort to be faithful in attending LGs.
- Be firm but tactful in your resistance Being tactful when drawing our line of resistance will help to win over the undecided group and some outright opposers. Being respectful will help us find sympathizers and supporters from the other side of the divide.
What you resolve today determines your success tomorrow