But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel1:8
I remember being told as a child to brush my teeth. “Be careful,” the adults said, “always brush your teeth.”
I thought, “What do they know?” Well, after a lot of trips to the dentist in later years, I realized that I should have paid attention to what they were saying.
Here’s another piece of advice that adults give to children: “Wear sunscreen. Don’t go out there and get burned. You’ll destroy your skin.”
But kids think, “What do they know?” And then one day they wake up as adults and find themselves under a dermatologist’s care. They realize that the adults were actually right.
If you’re young, it’s important to understand that you’re making decisions now that will affect you for the rest of your life.
Now let’s take that principle into the spiritual world. You’re making decisions today that will affect you later in life. Someone who’s older and is currently facing the consequences of their earlier choices will tell you that’s true.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They were three young Jewish teenagers who took a principled stand when they were carried away captive to Babylon. They were brought into the king’s court to be trained and schooled in the ways of the Babylonians. This gave them an opportunity to eat some amazing food, but along with their friend Daniel, they refused to eat the food from the king’s table.
We don’t know the reason for this, but it seemed to be a principled stand they were making on the basis of their commitment to God. And He honored them for their commitment. Then later when the king erected a golden image and told everyone to worship it, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down.
They got the courage to do what they did because of the principled stand they made earlier. Choices really do matter