Christians and Christian leaders, throughout time, have and will always face pressures to compromise their Christian integrity.
Daniel was no exception; he experienced the same pressure we all face. There is one area however, highlighted in the story of Daniel, that has always greatly affected leaders and that is the pressure to compromise their holiness.
Daniel illustrates how important it is, for those Christians who lead, in partnership with God, to pursue holiness. As Spurgeon warned long ago, “No man indulges an error of judgement, without sooner or later tolerating an error of practice.”
The call to Christians and in particular, Christian leaders to pursue holiness, is an invitation to experience the blessings and joys of intimacy with God, to be free from the weight and the burden of sin, and to become all He created us to be.
One of the qualities of great leaders is that they lead by example. You can serve your people best by modelling a heart for holiness – being prepared to be open about your own sin and encouraging others in God’s grace at work in them.
I have taught leadership at post graduate level for several years around worldly concepts of leadership. However, what we see in Daniel is that he was not dependent upon any theories of leadership, rather he got all his knowledge from God. This is because he knew his God intimately and depended totally on God’s wisdom to lead him forward.
The issue with many Christian leaders today is that they have little understanding of even the worldly concepts of leadership to aid them in their leadership roles. However, as helpful as these can be, they are very limited in comparison to the leadership wisdom that God can give. This is clearly shown in the life of Daniel.
Sanctify them in the truth, Thy word is truth.
The process of sanctification (to make holy) begins in new birth. It is carried on in two ways:
Mortification, whereby the lusts of the flesh are subdued and kept under, and Vivification, by which the life which God has put within us is made to be a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Paul expounds in many places on the need to mortify the flesh.
However, in terms of leadership and holiness, the process of vivification, this well springing up, is where true knowledge of leadership is found. The Spirit of God, through the process of vivification, brings to our mind the precepts and doctrines of truth and applies them with power, which is clear in the life of Daniel and also in the life of Jesus.
As Christian leaders we need to pursue holiness through continually hearing and reading the truth to grow in sanctification. Christian leaders need sound understanding, like that of Daniel, to progress in truly effective leadership.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
The pure in heart shall see God. Christians and Christian leaders -- do not compromise. Rather, model the ways of God for God is holy. Let the Spirit of God release His holiness in you.