Did you ever think that an Old Testament saint could be a great role-model for you as a Christian in the marketplace today? I can assure you that Daniel is that man. We’re looking at workplace principles from the life of Daniel. Consider this:
- Daniel was taken out of his comfort zone completely, away from familiar people and surroundings, into a different culture altogether.
When you go to work each day, you are likely to be leaving your comfort zone and entering a different kind of world. In writing to the church in Pergamum, Jesus said—through the Apostle John—“I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name” (Revelation 2:13a). Pergamum was thoroughly pagan, and many Christians were martyred there.
The pagan gods may be a bit different today, but they are there:
- The god of materialism
- The god of success
- The god of sexual pleasure
- The god of any kind of pleasure
- The god of “it’s all about me”
Our challenge is to remain true to the Lord even though we may work in Satan’s territory. Daniel—and his three faithful friends—were fully immersed in a pagan culture. They worked hard and succeeded in that society. But they did not accommodate their lifestyles or beliefs to the pagan world around them. Their approach was obedient involvement. They stayed involved in the world, while at the same time remaining obedient to God and his principles.
This attitude is a big contrast to other Jewish exiles in Babylon recorded in Psalm 137:1-4:
By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”
Have you ever felt like a foreigner in your working world? Well, that’s because you are, if you’re a Christ-follower. This world is not our home. Peter wrote that we are aliens and strangers in this world.
But Jesus doesn’t want us to “hang our harps on the poplars.” He wants us to sing songs of Zion, even by the rivers of Babylon! A joyful spirit is one of the most powerful weapons we have, both to fight off the enemy, to sustain us—because the joy of the Lord is our strength—and to testify to the foreigners around us that we do have songs of Zion to sing! We have something to sing about!