Daniel 1:1-21

Although our circles of influence vary in size, we all have the power to affect others—either for good or bad. Whether at home, in the church, or in the world, our lives are on display. Many times we aren’t even aware of who is impacted by our words, attitudes, and actions.

Daniel didn’t set out with the purpose of making an impression on others, but something about him affected everyone who came in contact with him—from lowly servants to kings of empires. What made this young man stand out was his commitment to his convictions. He believed in the absolute truth of the Scriptures. When he was taken to Babylon, he “made up his mind” not to defile himself with the king’s food because he knew that eating meat offered to idols was forbidden by the Mosaic law.

Daniel’s convictions, not his environment, determined his behavior. Our world offers a multitude of ways to compromise on what we know is right, but if we’ll make up our minds ahead of time, we, too, can stand firm in our obedience to God. Although an unbelieving world may mock our values and lifestyle, their respect for us actually lessens when we waffle and give in to temptations. What’s worse, our witness for Christ is damaged.

Conviction about God’s truth is like an anchor. When the winds of opinion blow and the waves of temptation pound us, we can know with certainty the right way to respond. Don’t vacillate in your obedience to the Lord. Your unwavering stand for what’s right can powerfully influence others.