Summary: Ever felt like you were thrown to the lions at work? How did you handle it? Daniel struggled with how to please God and his boss at work. Daniel 6:1-28 shows us how to honor God at work.
“HONORING GOD AT WORK”
September 6, 2009 (Labor Day)
Welcome to BBC on this beautiful Labor Day Weekend.
Today, we’re going to talk about “Honoring God at Work”.
Pete Hammond once studied 40 of the highest profile people from the Bible. These are people that we look up to as examples of great faith. I’m talking about people like Abraham, Moses, Noah, these kinds of people.
Pete Hammond studied 40 of them. Guess what he discovered! He discovered that of these 40 High Profile Leaders in the Bible 3 out of 4 or 75% never had a religious job.
In other words, 75% of them were never priests or pastors or missionaries as we think of them. 75% of them never left the business world to go into what we call “full time ministry”.
They held, for their whole life, what some refer to as secular jobs.
Today, we’re going to look at one of those 40 people studied by Pete Hammond. Daniel.
Daniel had a government job. He worked for the king of Babylon. Daniel held a high level position within the “organization”. The question is…What did Daniel do that made him both pleasing to God and his boss?
Daniel wrote a book where he talks about some of the things he went through on his job.
Sound familiar? Today it seems like everybody’s doing this.
People work at a high level job. They quit or retire or get fired and then come out a year later with a tell-all book.
You might remember former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who served under George Bush and came out with his book.
Well, Daniel came out with a book titled “Daniel” where he tells of his experiences in government.
The difference with Daniel’s book is that his was inspired by God and not just trashy gossip.
We’re going to look at Chapter 6 of Daniel’s book and read about one of his most famous experiences while working for the Babylonian government.
“Darius decided to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, stationed throughout the realm, and over them three administrators, including Daniel. These satraps would be accountable to them so that the king would not be defrauded.” – Daniel 6:1-2 (HCSB)
Darius was Daniel’s boss. Darius decided to restructure his government. He created 120 new jobs, hired 120 men to fill these new positions and gave them territories throughout his country. He then made those 120 satraps (satraps means “protector of the kingdom”) report to three administrators, one of whom was Daniel.
So, Daniel was in upper management.
Verse 3 says, “Daniel distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit, so the king planned to put him in charge of the whole realm.” – Daniel 6:3 (HCSB)
We’re going to learn today 3 WORKPLACE LESSONS that Daniel teaches us.
1. WHEN YOU’RE AT WORK…STAND OUT! – Vs.1-5
If I asked you, “What kind of work do you do?” How would you answer?
You might tell me what your job is that you go, where you get your paycheck.
But what if I asked, “No, I mean, what kind of work do you do? Do you do good work or shoddy work?”
Most of us in here would most likely say that we do good work.
Daniel was no different. Daniel was a standout at his job.
This is a different approach than…when you’re at work… blend in, or when you’re at work…get by. Or when you’re at work…don’t rock the boat.
I’m talking about rising above mediocrity and fulfilling your potential.
I like what Helen Keller said one time. Helen Keller said, “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
I think most of us here, when given a task or a job, genuinely want to do a good job.
Daniel was this kind of person, the kind of person who when given a task completes it and does a good job.
So, what was it about Daniel that distinguished him from his co-workers?
I want you to notice that…
A. Daniel stood out at work by choosing an excellent attitude. – V.3
“Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.” – Daniel 6:3 (NKJV)
The Bible says that an excellent spirit was in Daniel.
This is not talking about the Holy Spirit, or God’s spirit.
It’s talking about Daniel’s own spirit. His mind-set. The attitude he had within himself.
And the Bible describes “Daniel’s attitude as excellent.
In what way was Daniel’s attitude ‘excellent’? In two ways.
His attitude was excellent in comparison to others around him and in its intensity.
In other words, Daniel’s attitude at work was positive compared to the other people working around him and his attitude was more intense, more extreme than those working around him.