Integrity and witness
READ Daniel 6
Daniel was a foreigner who rose high in the Babylonian government, and was, as such, a target for envy. The tactics at that time for getting rid of a powerful figure differed little from the strategies we see employed today – Daniel’s enemies scrutinized his administration for improprieties (4). Finding that Daniel was above moral and professional reproach, they had to trap him by means of his religious commitment.
We have seen in our days religious leaders from every denomination fall under charges of embezzlement, fraud, adultery, and so forth. Under such circumstances any positive witness which the figure may have had is defaced beyond recognition; the result is a negative witness, demeaning Christianity and its claim to make persons new.
Daniel, however, has nothing to hide. He has kept his integrity, that is, he has kept whole and uninjured his witness to the claims and the standards of God’s kingdom. The only way to injure him is to force him into a position where a compromise of his commitment to God is required in order to survive – for then his same integrity will move him to accept the cost of continued witness (1 Peter 3:13-17; 4:15,16).
Just as Daniel opens his window towards Jerusalem in order to pray, sp we are called to demonstrate our commitment to our own homeland, the city of God (Hebrews 13:14). We are also called, however, to protect that witness through the integrity of our lives. Then our lives and deaths will contribute to God’s honor rather than to Christ’s shame.
PRAY Look again at Daniel 3:17,18, and use it as a basis for you prayer that you too may have the courage to be faithful to God in the situations you face today.