The Bible says, ‘Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank.’ This particular food and wine was offered to pagan gods as an act of worship, and for Daniel that was unacceptable. He was being asked to compromise his character, and he wouldn’t do it. Daniel would have had good reasons if he had chosen to say yes. He was far from home and could do as he pleased. Nobody back home would ever know it. Plus, if he didn’t eat it, he would be insulting the king—not a good move!
Daniel knew God’s Word was clear when it came to idol worship, and God blessed him for it. He ended up being protected, preserved, promoted, and prospered in unthinkable ways. His philosophy was: ‘When God says yes, I say yes. And when God says no, I say no.’ And it seems likely he had established his convictions before he got to Babylon.
Question: have you decided what your core convictions are? Have you spent the good times determining what you will and won’t do during the hard times? If not, you need to. Daniel’s friends probably told him, ‘Nobody will know.’ But his thinking was: ‘God will know, and so will I. I don’t have to live with you, but I’ve got to live with me.’ Your thoughts and ideas must always be open to change and improvement, but your core convictions must be non-negotiable. So, live by your convictions.