27 Sep Be a Daniel -Excellence in the 21st Century
Excellence, what a charming word! Be a student, a manager, a CEO, an entrepreneur or even a person of reputation, we all need to excel in the best that we have within us.
What does the world look for?
Physicality: Strong; healthy; good looking young men/women
Knowledge Base: Well learned; knowledge & sound judgment; trained in language and skills.
These were some of the qualities that the King Nebuchadnezzar looked for in the captives to serve him (Dan. 1:4-5). God has given us an epitome of excellence in the life of Daniel who excelled in all ventures and was fruitful all through his life.
The growth principle in Daniel’s life which elevated him speak volumes about his flawless service.
Began as just a captive in a foreign land. – Trained for 3 years to be of servitude to the King – Promoted as a consultant to the King and administrative matters – A high position in the Cabinet – Ruler over the province of Babylon – Chief of all wise men – Supervisor/Auditor – Manager of the King’s affairs/ Protector – Third highest ruler in the greatest kingdom that ever ruled on earth.
We too begin our lives, careers or even our journey towards excellence in the same way. We do receive training and expertise before we’re deployed in our streams. As we progress, we’re given greater responsibilities and opportunities. Through thorough efforts, we’re later given the authority to handle people. But to have such a strong resume as Daniel’s all he had to do was know and stick on to his roots. He rightly identified himself and hated to defile himself by this world. It seems so queer, but excellence isn’t just limited to one’s study or research. It is a lifelong improving process which enables us to give our best in all that we choose to do. Through Daniel’s life, excellence brims out in a quadruple fashion:
Excellence in thoughts
As we clearly see in Daniel 1:8, Daniel was asked to conform to the ‘worldly customs and traditions’ as ordered by the King. But he decided in his mind firmly that he wouldn’t defile himself just because he chose God over the world. As soon as he did have control over his mind, God changed the circumstances around him in his favour. He also blessed Daniel with special abilities and an unusual aptitude towards learning. Yes, excellence comes from God to those are ready to serve the Living God.
Excellence in decision making
The King had ordered for the execution of every wise man in his kingdom for not interpreting his dream (Daniel 2:14) but Daniel dealt the situation with wisdom and discretion. We are sometimes so opaque that we forget to utilize what God has given us to deal with life’s circumstances. If you’re facing a difficulty today in making strong decisions, your prayer should be to increase wisdom and discretion. The faithful Lord, who held Daniel even till the jaws of death, will deliver you for the glory of His name.
• Daniel asked of his prayer partners to intercede for him. (Daniel 2:18)
• On revealing the dream, he gives total credit to God and humbles himself. (2:30)
• His prayer life was just too strong to be shaken. (6:10) In all his works, he acknowledged God first and asked of His guidance in all matters.
• He also fasted and prayed for his people. (9:3)
Excellence in Service
As he depended more on the Lord, his wisdom never ceased, but it ever increased. It was highly evident in his work. Some of his attributes as in Dan. 6:3 were: A highly influential position; more capable than all the other rulers; faultless; faithful; responsible; trustworthy.
In all of these, Daniel exhibited excellence because his trust and dependence was in the Lord. Though Kings changed (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus), Kingdoms changed (Babylonians, Medes, Persians), Daniel was never uprooted from his position but was given the greatest honor in the entire kingdom.
Dearest loved ones, no matter where we are right now, we need to completely understand that all things are possible for God and He is willing to use us as Daniels in our colleges and workplaces. He wants us to excel. He needs people who distinguish themselves from the rest for His service. All we need to do is ask wisdom and discretion in the name of Jesus Christ. The world will change, patterns of it will vary, anomalies of all kinds will rise up, but through the power of excellence in Christ Jesus, we can surely make a difference.
Hubli ICEU, Karnataka.