Summary: A look at the life of Daniel and his friends as models for integrity in the workplace.
Holiness in Our Actions – Integrity
(Revised Feb. 2002)
Did you know that how we do our work and live our lives speaks volumes about our love for God? It’s true, and more true than you know!
People will judge the sincerity of your faith based on the job you do at work.
Welcome to our fourth installment in our look at the place holiness is to have in our lives.
We have looked at holiness beginning in our heart and mind, and overflowing into our speech. Today, we look at holiness in our actions, specifically in the workplace, where we have the opportunity to affect probably more people on a personal basis than any other arena.
I intend to use Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to illustrate how holiness in our actions, or to put it another way, integrity, impacts those around us as we go about our lives.
And we are going to see how they used their work situations to impact many people.
These four men have a lot to teach us. And their lives have certain parallels to another Old Testament character.
Like Joseph, they were taken captive, brought to a foreign land, and forced into service for their rulers. And, like Joseph, they were marked by their honor and distinguished service.
I have a feeling that if they did such things back then, we could walk the halls of the palace in Babylon, and see their pictures on the wall as employees of the month.
I think you will be blessed as we see what God was able to do with four men who gave themselves totally to living in Him and for Him.
So turn with me to the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, which is on page ________ of the Bibles in the seats.
I want to look at the three “P’s” in the lives of Daniel and his friends.
And the first of these is…
I. Strong Principles.
First, we see that these fellas carried around a set of strong principles. The first one we will look at is that…
A. They desired to please God above all else.
Please read with me in chapter 1, beginning in verse 8, through 16.
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you."
1:11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
The principle was not, “be a vegetarian and you can be big and strong like us.”
No, the principle had nothing to do with vegetables, but with the fact that the food they were to eat was forbidden by God, and they weren’t about to disobey God, even if it meant death at the hands of their captors. So they asked permission to eat a different diet.
They were driven by their desire to please God at all costs. That was the overriding concern.
Notice another thing: they didn’t demand their diet, they asked. They were polite and reasonable, which probably went a long way to the guard granting the request.
The next principle we want to examine is how…
B. They took opportunities to declare their faith in and allegiance to God.
Allow me to show you three examples:
1. The first example is given in chapter
2, when Daniel interprets the king’s dream for the first time.
The setting is this: the king has had a terrible dream and it has him deeply troubled. This has led him to seek and interpretation.
But not just any run of the mill interpretation. He wanted them to not only interpret the dream, he wanted them to actually tell him what he dreamed.
And he decided that if they could not do it, he would have all the wise men in the kingdom killed.