Standing Up for Your Beliefs
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Who wouldn’t like having the boss take you and your co-workers out for lunch?
Imagine joining colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere—away from the office—and best of all, you don’t have to pay.
At a former workplace, my husband was once asked to join co-workers for a special lunch. The whole team had just completed an important project in half the time expected, so supervisors were jubilant. To celebrate this great accomplishment, they planned a special lunch, with the company picking up the bill.
Yet when my husband was invited, he said no.
His refusal got some raised eyebrows and even some teasing. One co-worker commented that his refusal must be to appease his wife, who might be offended by the restaurant choice, where servers were known for being scantily clad.
My husband confirmed that while he didn’t want to offend me (his wife), he also didn’t want to offend his God.
This only increased the teasing. However, my husband’s refusal to go along with something he considered wrong ultimately resulted in management deciding to change the restaurant location. This allowed my husband and his co-workers to celebrate together in a more family-friendly environment.
Have you ever been in an awkward situation like that—where you had to decide whether to take a stand for what you believed, or go along with the crowd?
The Bible tells us of four young men who faced a situation where their convictions were put to the test.
In Daniel 1, we read that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were taken into the royal court of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. The king had besieged Judah and taken these young men captive. Since they were among the nobility, these young men were trained in the ways of the Chaldeans. This even included eating the food their captors ate.
We read in v. 5 that the king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. And this seems like it would be a great honor. Yet this food choice dishonored what God outlined for His people. So, the young men refused to eat the food, instead asking for an exemption.
After a 10-day test of the preferred diet of the young men, the king’s attendant recognized the four young men to not be weaker but instead stronger than the others who had followed the king’s diet. So, the four were allowed to continue to abstain from the king’s usual food—and they honored God.
By not compromising, my husband also found an opportunity to honor God.
Yes, such situations are awkward. Yet being willing to publicly stand up for what we believe can benefit both us and others. Later on, as described in Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tested again. They were commanded to bow before an idol or be thrown into a fiery furnace. So, they chose the prospect of death rather than bow before a false god.
In that situation, God stood with them inside that fiery furnace. And when they were delivered out of the furnace unharmed, they no longer had to bow before a false god. In fact, they and all the nations represented there that day were told to only honor the one true God that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served.
Dear heavenly Father, Help us to never compromise Your truth. Help us to always walk in Your freedom, so we can open a door for others to do the same. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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