Lion Taming

We’ve all had it happen…none of us are immune…that hot, hair raising sensation that slowly creeps up the back of your spine and into your your mind when you find out that someone has said malicious things about you behind your back. Your first instinct is to find the nearest cat and throw it across the room! (maybe that’s a bit dramatic?) Sometimes the things that people say are true, often times the things people say behind your back are untrue, but either way, YOU are left with the response. And as my grandma always say’s, “People Gonna Talk.” Nothing you can do is gonna change the fact that there are people that are going to be slanderous, people are going to be malicious, people are going to talk about you behind your back at some point in your life. (If you feel like this has never happened to you then you have just been mis informed)

So once again, if there is nothing you can personally do to stop behind the back talking, then it would seem that you are only left with one option, YOUR DEFENSE or your response. However, this is untrue. You have two options. Both are options are made available through a historical account in Daniel 6. We’ve all heard the story of Daniel in the Lions Den, but I think that Daniels story can give us some great personal insight on malicious talk, and how we act and react in our unique situations.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story of Daniel, let me debrief you in short form. Daniel, a Godly man is arrested by a good King who was manipulated by a couple of malicious men to make a decree that states, anyone who prays to any god outside of their king would be thrown into a pit filled with lions. This sounds good to the king, so he issues the decree. The malicious men then head straight over to Daniels crib where they find him (as he is every day) praying to God. They arrest him and throw him in the lions den. God then shows up and shuts the mouths of the lions overnight and protects Daniel. The next day the king goes over to the pit to find Daniel alive. With great joy he pulls Daniel from the lions den and then throws the malicious men into the den instead (because they manipulated the king) where they are eaten alive by wild lions.

So what insight can we gather? Here are a couple quick thoughts…

#1-We must call in a preemptive strike on our integrity. A preemptive strike is a military action designed to neutralize a potential threat or to gain an advantage against an enemy. And this is how we must live as followers of Christ. 1 Timothy 3 tells us that we are to live above reproach. This means, that our lives can offer a testament to who we are and what we stand for, before someone says something nasty about us behind our backs. Such was the case with Daniel. If you notice in Scripture, the Kings heart is heavy when he learns that Daniel has been arrested for the crime of praying to another god. Notice that the King is not angry with Daniel, but rather heartbroken. This is because the King knows Daniels character. He realized that the claims that are brought against Daniel however true, don’t accurately reflect who Daniel is. Daniel is an innocent man in all rights, and the King knows this. Daniel called a preemptive strike in his own life. However, even though there was a preemptive strike, it still was not enough to deflect the attack that Daniel had come against him.

Even when you live a Christ-centered life, you will still have people who will try to tear you down.

And this is where the second point comes into play.

#2-Let your God be your defender. Notice that Daniel didn’t plea for mercy or scream and cry in rage. Notice that Daniel didn’t try and justify what he had done or go and defend himself. Nope. He…Did…Nothing. He let God be his defender. And what happened? God shows up in the lions den and shuts up the mouth of the lions himself. There was nothing that Daniel himself could have done to shut up those lions mouths, he would have been eaten alive. Sure maybe he could have injured one or two…MAYBE, but he surely would have eventually been eaten. But because Daniel was in correct standing with God, and because Daniel knew that the only defense he needed was God, God shows up and does only what God can do, and that was to shut the mouths of the lions. And then, God does one better on Daniels behalf! Notice what happens when Daniel is rescued, the malicious, manipulative men are tossed into the very den that they sought to put Daniel into!

So in recap…Live a life that is above reproach, a life that is Christ-centered, let that be your preemptive strike, and secondly, let God be your defender as scripture tells us He is. Let Him be the one who shuts the mouths of the ravenous lions who seek to eat you alive! And lastly don’t be a malicious person who talks behind others backs, or the beat down you are secretly trying to put on others will come back roaring as it eats you alive.

Copyright © Covenant Church 2014