Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. Daniel1:11-16
Ever witnessed a conversation where both sides are talking but neither is listening to the other? Perhaps you have been involved in such a conversation. Too often that happens when people are talking about religion. Each side is totally convinced they are right and they never hear the other side. We can learn a lot from how Daniel handled his problem with the chief of the eunuchs. Both had a position from which it appeared there was no way to compromise yet in the end they were able to reach an agreement.
Daniel in a polite manner asked to be feed according to Jewish dietary law but rather than be argumentative an in the process losing the argument Daniel proposed a simple test. Let the four eat only vegetables for ten days and then look at the results. If they grew weaker than the rest they would eat the king’s food if not they would continue to eat vegetables. Since the Jewish captives training period would last a year the ten day trial if it failed gave the chief of the eunuchs ample time to get the four back in good health. He was able to accomplish the four’s request without any harm coming to him.
Sometimes all we need do to get someone to come to Christ is to get them to give Him a try. We don’t have to ask them to make a lifetime commitment just come to church with us for a few Sundays or maybe read one of the Gospel accounts. I have seen this in action with the local Christian radio station, KSBJ in the Houston area. They give people a 30 day challenge. They ask people to listen to the station for a month. It is amazing how many after the month is over continue to listen to the station. That is how I started to listen to the station. I would listen to KSBJ either during my morning commute or the afternoon commute. Then I would listen to my normal stations either rock or country. Soon I found myself listening to KSBJ on both ends of my commute. Finally I became a fulltime listener and supporter. Now had I been forced to go cold turkey from my normal stations I would have most likely been resentful and as soon as I could I would have reverted to my old stations.
I have found that a respectful approach when sharing my beliefs while it may not change the other’s beliefs it does allow for a longer and more productive dialog. Just as important I can see the other’s objections to Christianity and make adjustment in how I communicate Christ. It always helps me to know what other believe and why they believe as they do. Who knows what seeds have been planted just by keeping things civil. We are at war with Satan but we are not at war with our fellow humans. For them we are on a rescue mission. Rescuers need to be calm and deliberate not crazy.
Have a blessed day,