Have you noticed all the drama? It’s everywhere!
You probably don’t need me to tell you the obvious:
In this life that you will face attacks from critics and haters. You can handle your haters in a holy way.
You have a decision to make. You have to decide if you’ll react emotionally or respond appropriately.
Before you hit send on an angry message, before you go off on social media, I want to ask you to consider how the faithful fight back. There is a right way to fight…there is a holy way to handle your haters.
Daniel 6 gives us a great framework…
1. Expect Opposition
…these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” – Daniel 6:5
Part of fighting fair is just realizing that there is going to be a fight. There is going to be opposition. Here’s a simple truth:
When God raises you up, expect others to tear you down.
Daniel was very successful. He was promoted several times. The higher he was promoted, the more of a target he became.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about attacks:
// You’ll be attacked by someone you know. \\
Because you know them, these attacks hurt the worst. That’s harder to swallow than just a mere stranger attacking you. That’s the nature of it. Promotion on the outside leads to a lot of trouble on the inside.
// You’ll be attacked during a season of success. \\
Most attacks come when we’re not expecting it. When things are going well, we tend to live in auto-pilot mode. We aren’t on the lookout. Be careful, that’s usually when the attacks come.
I know, attacks aren’t fun, but they’re going to happen. If you’re not ready to face attacks for being obedient, you are not ready to be used by God. The two go hand in hand.
Daniel was promoted and attacked. He was in the middle of God’s Will and still had haters.
You’ve been there, right?
2. Examine Your Options
Daniel had to make a choice about what he was going to do. The king put the law in place, making it illegal for Daniel to pray.
Daniel had at least three options:
- He could’ve stopped praying. At least for a while. He’d been faithful for many years, would it hurt if he stopped praying for a month?
- He could’ve prayed silently. He could still pray without people knowing.
- He could keep praying. He could keep doing what he had always done.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. – Daniel 6:10
Go ahead and make your decision ahead of time to be a person of character. When you haven’t decided ahead of time, it’s easy to shift from making decisions based on character to making decisions based on convenience.
The Shift from Character to Convenience
Character: I will pray out loud.
Convenience: I don’t want to offend anybody.
Character: I will make decisions based on principles of God.
Convenience: I will make decisions based on emotions.
Character: I will do what God wants.
Convenience: I will do whatever brings pleasure.
Character: How will this impact my relationship with God in the future?
Convenience: What seems best now?
Character: What does God’s word say?
Convenience: What do others say?
Character: I’m going to do the right thing no matter what.
Convenience: I’ll do what I want.
Because Daniel chose character, he continued to pray.
Bowing to pray gives you strength to stand.
Daniel was able to stand with boldness and so will you.
3. Expect to Overcome
Daniel didn’t know how the story was going to end. He didn’t have a completed Bible to read and know he would be delivered. But here’s what he did know: God had been faithful to him, so he would be faithful to God.
When it comes to how the faithful fight, decide to do what’s right and trust God with the results.
What were the results for Daniel? God delivered him unharmed!
22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” 23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
– Daniel 6:22-23
So I encourage you. Before you react emotionally, respond appropriately:
- When God raises you, people tear down
- Bowing to pray gives you strength to stand and fight.
- Do what’s right—trust God with the results.
This devotional is one in Sugar Hill Church’s First 30 devotional series for college students. To access the entire series & podcasts be sure to check SHC’s site each day, as new ones are added daily. (Because we know you are busy, just click here & save as bookmark.)
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