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Courageous leadership in Crisis

The book of Daniel contains many well-known accounts from which we can learn several leadership principles. One of these is courage, especially the moral courage to stand up for God’s laws and principles in a hostile environment.

Daniel and his friends were taken into exile under King Nebuchadnezzar. Because they were good looking, intelligent and endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, they were asked to serve in the king’s court.

The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine when he drank (Dan. 1:5).

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with wine which he drank

(Dan. 1:8).

Because of his courage to stand up for the Word of God, Daniel was granted favour by God in the sight of the commander of the officials. God also gave Daniel and his friends knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.

The opportunity was provided for Daniel to go before the King and appease the King’s anger over his magicians for not being able to interpret the King’s dreams. Amazingly, Daniel was able to describe and interpret the disturbing dream of the King to the very last detail.

As Christian leaders we need to have the courage to stand up for what we believe in; especially in hostile environments. We know it is important for leaders to have a vision, especially a vision from God.

Courageous leaders don’t just announce a vision, they need to have the conviction of a Daniel. Daniel never tried to interpret dreams without God. God was always his source of power and revelation.

So now, more than ever, we need courageous leaders who can help themselves and others to be strong in moral conviction, to stand up for God’s vision for this time and see the opportunities that often exist where chaos and problems seem to be overwhelming.

This then opens the door for the leader to offer hope – courageous leaders do.

Jack Hayford in one of his daily devotions says, “God is looking for those who will move into partnership with Him in the struggle for mankind.” Daniel proved this reality and God came to His rescue.

This could have been Daniel’s life verse: God is my strength, and He makes my way perfect.

(2 Sam. 22:3)

Why not make this your life verse?

Ray Dallin

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