8 "But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself …"
Daniel 1:8 (NASB)
Daniel and a few friends were taken captive from their homes in Israel and deported to a foreign land. They were considered the best of the young men to be trained to serve in the court of the king of Babylon.
They faced an environment that was hostile to their faith.
Their captors were so determined to make them embrace a godless culture, they even changed the names of Daniel and his friends. Their new names reflected the names of heathen gods in the Babylonian culture. Every time their names were called, it was to remind them that they were to discard their biblical foundation.
An NFL team drafted a player who was well-known as a follower of Christ. His new position coach, on the other end of the spiritual spectrum, made it his mission to break the rookie in. He tagged the rookie with a vulgar nickname to mock his convictions.
This coach’s conduct was a jolting contrast to the rookie’s high-character coaches on his high school and college teams.
The rookie wrestled with the way he had been labeled, but made up his mind to hold to his Christian principles, including respecting his coach. Within months something unexpected happened — the rookie earned a significant starting role on the team.
Realizing his tactics had no effect on the rookie, the coach began to respect the rookie for who he was. He also gave his name back.
This rookie is a modern-day Daniel. He made up his mind where he stood. He excelled as Daniel did, and found himself in an elevated position.
Most people have some convictions, but we live in a time in which convictions are considered arrogant, intolerant or burdensome. Most people also have a point at which they will let them slide to fit in with the crowd.
When we haven't made up our minds about some things, we should consider them opinions, not convictions.