Whatever the eye perceives, it doesn't see it all. This is true not only in seeing but also in understanding what God is doing in the lives of His children. Our limited perspective leads us to the false assumption that the godly should not suffer, that God should prevent them from enduring trials. But what we do not see from our vantage point is how God uses the patient endurance of His suffering servants to bring others to Christ.
Of all the great men and women in the Bible, Daniel certainly ranks as one of the greatest. Without dispute he was a man of courage. But courage was not what made him great. History is filled with courageous devils. Daniel was great because he was exactly who he appeared to be—a man of unassailable integrity. Though this would prove dangerous, Daniel would not compromise his honour.
Just a quick glance at the daily news reveals a world filled with compromise, scandal, and dark secrets. One thing lacking in so many of our would-be heroes and media-made mentors is integrity.
The world needs a return to integrity, not sinless perfection but absolute honesty and an absence of duplicity. Impossible? Let's let Daniel's life answer that for us.
Few character qualities are more important than integrity. Courage is perhaps the only one to precede it, since it stiffens our spines and sets our feet.
All of us need heroes to inspire and challenge us to live authentic lives of integrity. Centuries ago, one such hero of integrity kept himself afloat in the swamps of ethical compromise. His name was Daniel, and he serves as an example of authenticity for us to become heroes in our own generation. A life well lived not only inspires others but also results in great rewards both in this world and in the world to come.
One of Chuck Swindoll’s favourite Bible stories is Daniel in the lions’ den, although he thinks it should be called the lions in Daniel’s den.