Why is it so hard for us to be the same people when we are away from home? We know what we are supposed to do. Yet so often we do not. We may not attend services as regularly, may go to places we would not at home, may dress immodestly, and may do things we would not. After all, “No one will ever know, right?” Wherever we may roam, it is the, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mentality. Yet, God knows, right?
So, how do we remain what we ought to be when we are away from home? Daniel, a young man brought to a foreign country, and his three friends are good examples in Daniel 1. We need to act like we have the same accountability on the road as we do at home. Figuratively speaking, there are 3 MINDSETS we must not leave home without...
First, A Trained Mind - Never leave home without it (Daniel 1:3-4, 20)! Notice what this text is bookended with: wisdom and understanding possessed by Daniel. If we are going to be the right kind of people, at home or away, we have to know what God’s word says (Hosea 4:6-7). Daniel certainly had that level of knowledge. We must, however, have more than just a fundamental understanding of the rules and regulations. Beyond that it is necessary that we have mediated on His word, put it in our hearts, and asked God for wisdom in using it (Joshua 1:8)! Notice it says he had understanding and discerning knowledge. It is important that we learn to understand what is going on around us! It is essential we learn to discern wrong from right situations based on a knowledge of God’s word (Romans 12:1-2)!
Second, A Committed Mind - Never leave home without it (Daniel 1:8)! Daniel made up his mind! In other words, the debate was already settled as far as Daniel was concerned. He would not go against what God had commanded! It is so important that we make up our minds before we get into tempting situations (Joshua 24:15)! If we wait until we are in that circumstance, it may be too late - We may be overwhelmed by the pressure of others or our own desires (Romans 1:23ff).
Third, A Brave Mind - Never leave home without it (Daniel 1:10-13)! The commander was afraid to follow Daniel’s plan. He was afraid of the consequences of the king. Daniel was not afraid. Instead, he was confident, bold, assertive and brave - all the opposite of fearful (II Timothy 1:7)! What do we fear? Being made fun of? Not being popular? Missing out on physical rewards? We must not be afraid of things that are so temporary. Rather, we must be, as Joshua was told, “strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6).
Imagine knowing no matter where we were, no matter what tragedy struck, we were ready to face the Lord! Imagine having that peace of mind and assurance. Could you face life easier? Imagine not having to live with the guilt, shame and cover-up that so many do? It is all possible when we choose to be Godly no matter where we are!