The book of Daniel is so powerful and every time I read this, God reveals more! Daniel handled this complex situation with not only wisdom but discretion. He chose to continue to live out everything He learned from God and trusted God completely. He chose wisdom and discretion by not letting His feeling lead Him. Daniel asked questions under pressure instead of giving into fear! He was respectful to the commander by remaining humble! He chose to ask questions! Then he respectfully asked the King for more time. Immediately, he went to his friends so they could pray for mercy and ask God to reveal the dream and interpret it! Daniel 2:12-13 ”The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.”
Daniel 2:14 NLT “When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.”
Wisdom and Discretion is so important to live out in our own lives as we learn from Daniel! What is biblical discretion? Proverbs 2:11, “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Also, Proverbs 4:6, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” Wisdom and discretion go hand and hand as we allow God to guide us in our conversation in hard situations! If we are angry, hurt, fearful, we don’t have a sober mind! It’s choosing to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry! James 1:19 NIV, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” Daniel lived this out by being careful with his words and his reactions under pressure! We need to do the same! Respecting each other is love and listening to the guard by respectfully asking questions shows love. Jesus also asked questions! Daniel’s attitude was gentle and kind and wasn’t loud or rude! When we love God and love others (everyone), we need to look at the heart! Psalm 112:4-7 NIV, “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. 6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Daniel trust the Lord completely and was confident when he asked the King for more time!
The King was blinded by his emotions and consumed with fear and lashed out! The way we handle conflict like in the story in Daniel reveals to me how our flesh can get into the way on how we react! The King was controlled by his flesh and he wanted answers no matter what it cost! However, Daniel chose to be led by God in how to handle this situation! He didn’t allow fear to consume him when he heard he would be killed! What do we do when you are faced with a conflict with someone in authority or in charge? How should you handle these situations that put so much pressure on you! The pressure can cause you not to be sober minded and want to run, hide or fight? We read and hear what to do and even know, but putting it to action in your life is a whole other experience! Daniel lived out how we can do this with God’s help and with our sisters and brothers in Christ! It’s all centered around having humility and love! The world is watching our reactions as we handle conflict! This is why Daniel story is so amazing to me because He had to live a life not conforming to the patterns of this world! Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” He allowed His mind to be transformed by God through spending time with Him in prayer, so he could stand firm in faith! The other wise men were watching too! God loves all people and wants no one to be lost and as we live out what we believe to be true will cause a multitude to search for God too! When they search for Him as the wise men did when they followed the star, they found him! Matthew 2:1-2 NIV, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Those who believe in Jesus are no longer slaves to sin but our sinful nature can still get in the way of the Spirit! Daniel continually trust God under pressure! We need to remember God loves all people and he wants no one to be lost! We need to be sober minded because anger and fear can blind you when conflict happens. We need to continue to persevere in love for one another as you saturate yourself with God’s word and pray with each other and for each other! We need to be quick to listen, slow to be speak, slow to be angry! How we react in love, draws others in to search for God too! Sometimes our flesh can get in the way in how we love one another but because we chose to forgive quickly! Fear and hurt can cause you to not see clearly and loose grip of compassion for each other. Consequently, your reactions won’t be centered around God’s love which is solid and never changing! Instead, it will be centered around fear, hurt, embarrassment, misunderstandings! It could cause you to struggle loving others the way Jesus loves us! Your hurts really do matter and every tear is caught in a bottle! (Psalm 56:8) That’s how much we are loved by God! His thoughts for us out number the grands of sand and even your hairs are numbered! So, we need to seek God and His righteousness in everything including handing over our hurts and fears, so He can led us in how to handle conflict as we pray first! This is what discretion looks like! If we hold onto our feeling and chose to do our own way, it would become selfish love continually changing like sifting/sinking sand! You won’t be standing on the rock! This will lead to judgment based on what you think you know from what you see, instead of looking at the heart the way God does! Love, compassion and discretion go together! We need to constantly be praying because all of us can react when we get hurt, and we need to be led by Holy Spirit in how to handle everything with love and respect by humbling ourselves to listen with compassion!
When conflict arises, it an opportunity to grow stronger in relationship with each other through prayer! It an opportunity for God to reveal to your heart because no one is perfect, and God is growing you to love other people more and more like Him! Struggles and conflicts are ways to grow and love deeper bring God glory in all circumstances! Even the disciples struggled with each other as Jesus strengthens them for work He planned ahead of time! We need relationships to challenge our characters as He grows us! Because we are to love God with All of our heart, All of our soul, All of our Mind, and All of our Strength! We are to love our neighbor as you love yourself! (Mark 12) We love God with everything We are because we are made in Him image, and when we do this, love overflows onto others.
When feelings get hurt, we must remain together in love because love can move mountains as we abide in Jesus! We will unintentionally hurt each other, but we also need to remember that Jesus loves us in our brokenness and mess, and we need to do the same! When we allow God to search our heart, (Psalm 139) Jesus can reveal the hurt hidden within your heart so you can heal! As we are led by the Spirit in prayer for one another, God is at work in the hearts of those who seek Him with all of their hearts and trust Him! We need to hold tight to truth as we read and meditate on God’s word in the Bible! This love with draw others to wants to know Jesus too!
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalms 19:14 NLT