Lesson #1: Leaders Like Daniel Encourage Integrity amidst Temptation
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. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel – Daniel 1:8-9
In the opening chapter of Daniel, the manner in which Daniel chooses to protect himself from the indulgences of the Babylonian empire is an example that all leaders ought to follow. The Babylonian empire made attempts to force the Jewish people to assimilate to their culture, giving them new names, as well as serving food and drink that would not be considered clean according to Jewish law.
Daniel, along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, resolved to not give in to the temptations of the Babylonian Empire. They made a resolute effort to remain faithful to their culture, faithful to the Lord.
Faithfulness to the Lord despite temptation is an essential quality of Christian leadership.
There is no shortage of temptations and stumbling blocks that the enemy uses to take down Christian leaders. It is imperative that leaders follow Daniel’s example by not allowing these seemingly innocent temptations to take a foothold.
One key element to Daniel’s success in this area is his use of accountability.
Had Daniel taken this initiative in isolation, the temptations could have proven overwhelming. However, in wisdom, Daniel sought faithfulness to the Lord in a hostile environment alongside three Jewish brethren, as well as enlisting the help of the Babylonian eunuchs.
To prove faithfulness in a culture that is hostile to the Lord, it is essential that you do not isolate yourself. Gather a band of brothers and sisters, and together seek faithfulness and obedience to the Lord. In this way, Christian leaders must lead by example.
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