Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
Romans 12:2 (Phillips Translation)
It wasn’t that long ago that a local car dealership referred to itself as “a business of character.” While I don’t know the owner or any of his employees, trumpeting the quality of your character actually creates more questions in my mind because I think the quality of a person’s character has more validity when it comes from an outside source. What do you think?
Think about Daniel in the Old Testament. Is was said that “they could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Daniel 6:4b). There were plenty of outside sources that attested to the character of Daniel. While he never conformed to the Babylonian was of living, he distinguished himself among his peers as with his character and exceptional qualities (Daniel 6:3). He was described as a man who could be trusted, who could not be bought with a bribe, and he excelled at his task as a leader under the reign of the king. In fact, the only apparent fatal flaw was linked to his dedication to the God of Israel.
So when the decree was signed making it illegal to pray, how did Daniel respond? He didn’t lead a protest, he simply continued to do what he had always done. He lived his life with integrity and he prayed. You know the rest of Daniel’s encounter with the lions. As a man who was dedicated to his faith, he did not allow the law of men to trump his commitment to prayer even when he knew the consequences.
Daniel’s strength of character originated from the inside. Can the same be said of us?