Curing Strained Relationships
The relationship between Daniel and his king (Nebuchadnezzar) has many applications for us today with the tensions we may have with coworkers, or any other person for that matter. Imagine what Daniel must’ve been put through by this pagan king who to say he had an overinflated ego was an understatement ! One of his best quote’s he’s known for is: “Is not this great Babylon that I have built. . .” (Dan.4:30). While it’s true Nebuchadnezzar was a remarkable builder, a gifted military genius, and leader of the greatest nation on earth at the time, the thing that he was woefully deficient about was an understanding and appreciation of where his blessings truly came from ! James wrote to us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (Jas.1:17) and therein lies his basic malady: he was arrogant and had no relationship with the Father !
When there is strife at work you can usually figure someone in the midst of it suffers from the same spiritual ailment as this king. They either aren’t saved or they are not right with their Savior. So what are we to do who are believers and want to effect change for the better in a strained relationship? We do what Daniel did. Let’s see !! You better believe that he prayed for his arrogant master as we know Daniel was good about that (6:10) praying OFTEN. And Daniel’s prayers were being heard just as God knows your troubles and wants to help too. God was at work on this proud, proud man and He allowed him to dream a dream which prompted him to enlist Daniel’s help in seeking an answer from God about it. So in chapter four that is what Daniel does, he hears the dream and interprets it.
The king is brought, by God, to great fear: “I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.” (4:5). In fact, once Daniel knew its meaning the Bible says he was also greatly afraid, afraid for what God would do to his king if he did not seek God ! “Then Daniel. . . was astonished for one hour and his thoughts troubled him. . . ” (4:19). Its what Daniel then says that is a huge part of what we can also do to help resolve tensions with others: “Wherefore , O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy unto the poor” (4:27). In short, he was offering THE spiritual solution to Nebuchadnezzar ! He needed to be saved !! Daniel was being a good witness.
Daniel knew the awful path his leader was on and knew there was a way off of it. We as Christians must take the opportunities God gives us to show and speak to the troubled souls around us about the Lord. We must pray our witness is effective and our work shows our dedication to Him, we must pray they see Christ in our actions, ask the Lord to help our attitude be godly even when they are far from that. Our response to evil must be to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us and overcome evil with good by asking God to give us the grace to respond right even if we are treated wrong. God will judge the evildoer in His time and way without any help from us if they refuse to change (which is what the king failed in doing), but we must ask to have His heart to respond well.
Romans 12 says if our “enemy hunger feed him, if he thirsts, give him drink” (vs20). So it means you don’t have to be a doormat for their abuse, you can give them what they need (which is not a sinful tongue lashing by the way). It doesn’t mean what you think they need but what God says they need. They need to be righteous not sinful. So be kind, you can let them know their actions are hurtful or words unkind and harrassing. But show them you aren’t going to engage in the same or “one up” them either ! In Daniel’s “work situation” it DID turn around. If you read Daniel four you see the king said, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven. . .” (vs.37). What a great ending !!! Strive that the same be in your relationships by doing your part and letting God do His.
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