Summary: Daniel demonstrated a life of integrity. He crossed the line from a life of mediocrity a life of authentic God honoring living.
Crossing the Line to Authentic Christian Living
Daniel Leads the Way
Verse 4: “Daniel was faithful and honest and always responsible.” NLT
Daniel lived a life of integrity as a teenager when he entered Babylon as recorded in chapter one of Daniel. He lived through the leadership of three kings. Chapter 6, Daniel is now in his 80’s and still respected as a CEO type of leader. King Darius divided his kingdom into 120 counties each with a mayor or satrap. Daniel and two other administrators served over three regional areas. Daniel was the superior administrator and King Darius planned to give him the oversight of the entire area.
At the age of 80 Daniel was not ready to retire, He was on the go for God. Daniel was not like some people over 65 whose attitude is reflected in several hymns:
“Precious Lord, take my hand (and help me get up).”
“It is well with my soul (but my back hurts).”
“Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah (I’ve forgotten where
One day an older couple was talking to each other. The wife said to the husband, “you used to hold my hand.” He reached over and took her hand. Then she said, “You used to kiss me all the time.” Instantly he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. Then she said, ‘You used to nibble on the back of my neck.” Suddenly he got up and started walking away. “Where are you going? She asked. He said, “To get my teeth.”
Daniel is an example of someone who lived their entire life as an authentic Christian. He had crossed the line to authentic living. He was a 24/7 Christian.
Because Daniel was a person of integrity he possessed superior leadership qualities to the other two administrators. When the two administrators learned that King Darius wanted to make Daniel the sole leader of the country they searched Daniel’s background to find dirt on his past.. They couldn’t find anything to find fault so they decided to attack his Godly faith. Daniel 6:4 “He was faithful and honest and always responsible.”
What a difference that quality would make in the workplace and corporate world today.
# An article in the USA Today November 5, 2004 newspaper had this headline: “Business scandals prompt look into personal lives.” A study of the personal lives of CEOs and top executives under indictment for fraud and embezzlement revealed that the majority of the men under investigation were living double lives. Many of the top executives accused of betraying the trust of shareholders also betrayed the trust of their wives.
Former Tyco CEO Denis Kozlowski has at least two affairs with subordinates before he divorced his first wife and married his mistress, according to trial testimony. WoldCom’s Bernike Ebbers openly courted a company sales executive while married to his first wife. Enron’s Jeff Skilling, who said he left the company in 2001 to tend to family matters,” had divorced his wife four years earlier and taken up with a co-workers nicknamed “Va Voom” around the office.
Compromise in one area of a person’s life tended to lead to compromise in other areas. When a person lives a life of integrity and honesty in his/her personal and family life that quality of life tends to carry over into public life.
There are those who are satisfied to live on or close to the line of integrity. They live a shallow life.
I. Shallow Focused Life
Those who live this side of the line live a shallow life-style. They live to please people. They live for themselves. They live an up and down life.
I would characterize my life as a new Christian as riding a roller coaster of spirituality. Depending on the crowd I was with I was either hot or cold. I didn’t go wild, but I didn’t go all out for God either. I would drink Pepsi when others were drinking beers. But I didn’t take a positive stand for the Lord either.
Shallow Christians are believers that live close to the line or just over the edge as a 51% commitment. As long as being a Christian doesn’t cost anything, or cause harm the shallow person is happy.
Shallow Christians are not dangerous. If Daniel had been a shallow Christian he would have stayed out of the lions den.
The early church was made up of dangerous Christians. Prior to Pentecost Jesus was the primary dangerous leader. On different occasions the religious crowd wanted to stone Jesus or push his off a cliff. When Jesus cast out demons out of a wild man in Gardarenes, Jesus was asked to leave their area because the demons entered 2,000 pigs ran down the hillside into the sea and drowned.
On another occasion Jesus entered the temple court yard area and drove out merchants that were using the temple area to sell animal sacrifices. Jesus cast them out of the temple area and declared that His House is a House of Prayer and not for buying and selling merchandise.