4 Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.” – Daniel 6:4-5
The precursor to Daniel getting heaved into a lion’s den had less pizazz to it—it was merely the dogged goodness of integrity. When Daniel’s enemies came after him, seeking the deep dark secret or covert wrongdoing that would sink him, they found nothing. The paparazzi and PIs uncovered no dirt—no secret mistresses or shady business deals, no hidden funds or even white lies. When face to face with this kind of wholesomeness, the leaders finally determined that the way to get Daniel—the only way!—was through his devotion to God.
How astounding is that!
And where do I stack up in terms of devotion to God and devotion to other things? If someone were trying to assassinate my character, what things could they use to do so? What things in my life topple my integrity? What things stir up the dregs and produce murkiness in my life?
Sadly, I don’t think “devotion to God” would be the lone way to ‘bring me down.’
Just yesterday I recall losing patience with my wife. I didn’t yell and scream at her or anything like that, but it was this internal, Sunday-afternoon souring that produced curt answers and little consideration for anything but me. Later in the day, I rehashed what had brought in the clouds in a previous sunny relationship and the answer was clear and simple: the St. Louis Blues had been eliminated from the playoffs. That was all it took for my own integrity to skate out the door. My love of sports is enough at times to drag me from virtue. What else is? Money? Lust? Selfishness? Entertainment? What things could someone dangle in front of me that would have me walk away from the path of righteousness?
I want to be more like Daniel, and to do so, I must be more sold out in my affection and dedication to Christ. He must truly become the air I breathe, my daily bread. Daniel could not go without prayer in his life, so much so that he was willing to suffer the lion’s den for it. Might I become similarly sold out to the convictions I say matter, and less dependent on whatever temporary thing flashes before my eyes.