DRAWING THE LINE // SEPTEMBER 14, 2023
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
We have no evidence that Daniel pushed back on having his name changed or on learning the Babylonian way. Whatever they wanted to call him didn't change his identity. Whatever they wanted to teach him didn't change truth. But he drew the line with what he put inside his body, resolving not to defile himself. The other thing he didn't do? He didn't attack the chief official: he asked him.
In today's culture, attack has become the norm. There's a difference between asking and attacking. Nobody wins by offending others. Often, we play out conversations in our heads: if they say this, I'll respond like this. And usually our responses are about one-upping someone! It's okay to have emotions, but it's not okay for emotions to have us. We're to operate in the peace of God. We could be right in what we're standing up for but so wrong in the way we do it.
You don't have to put up a fight. Decide where you draw the line, and determine that your conviction won't put you on the attack. Instead, ask God for what you need and for clarity in what your posture should look like. It's your life and your lines. Your boundaries are beneficial; God can use those with boundaries. People use those who don't have them. Where you draw the line determines the trajectory of your life.