Bible Verse: 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. Daniel 1:8

Scripture Reading: Daniel 1:8-21

The Calgary Herald, the largest circulation newspaper in Calgary, conducted a survey amongst its readers a few years ago. The opinion poll asked one simple question: “Should an evangelical Christian be barred from running for office?” The poll was taken down after pushback from readers. Why did the opinion poll target Christians and not some other group? How did we develop this reputation for intolerance and even hatred?

We live in a shifting culture. How should Christians stand up for their convictions in the public sphere? How do we remain true to Christian convictions and yet be full of genuine love and biblical hospitality to any and all people?

Daniel and his friends found themselves living as exiles in a foreign country that was hostile to their beliefs, values and worship of God. The culture of the day attempted to force them to compromise their values. We read of Daniel’s response: “But Daniel resolved…” (Daniel 1:8). He drew a line in the sand. We’re not exactly sure why he chose the king’s diet as the place of no compromise. The issue is bigger than Chardonnay and T-bone steaks. It has to do with reaching a point that compromises one’s convictions.

Perhaps there’s a slippery slope area in your life; an area of compromise that you’re letting slip through. In an ever-changing culture that may attempt to indoctrinate you, assimilate you, and confuse you; you need to have your core convictions in place. Is today your day to repent of an area of moral or spiritual compromise? Slippery slopes of compromise can take you to a place you don’t want to end up at, if left unchecked.

So, when you get offered the “king’s food” that crosses the line in your school or work place or amongst your friends, how will you respond? What do you do when your gut tells you that you need to say “no”? Today God is looking for godly men who live by Jesus’ informed convictions in a fluctuating culture.

— Rick Bayer, Lead pastor, Gracepoint Community Church, Surrey, BC.

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