Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Keeping it personal (and private)

I was listening to the old story of Daniel and the Lion's Den this morning. It is on the greatest hits list of most Sunday School teachers and, if you don't know it, it is about how Daniel, a follower of God in the Old Testament, was thrown into a den of hungry lions because of his faith.

Something struck me about this story, that I will, of course, share with you now.

In this story, a law was passed so no-one could pray to anything or anyone; God, king, idol, tree, whatever, except for King Darius for 30 days. This really shouldn't have been a problem for Daniel. All he had to do was not pray in public for thirty days. He could still keep his faith and no-one would be the wiser. In fact, everyone would probably still know that he prayed to God, but they wouldn't have to be disgusted by his praying in public.

In fact, Daniel did always pray in his own space. he went up to his bedroom to pray. All he had to do was pray quietly in his heart. a personal pray because his personal faith was between him and God alone. But, he wasn't quiet.

 Maybe if he closed the shades. Then people wouldn't have to see him, at least. But no, there he was, above the busy street, pouring his heart out to God where everyone could see him. And it landed him in a mess.

Fortunately, for us, we don't have that problem. When the pressure is on us to make our faith personal and private, we do so and no one has to know that we seek God every day to help us and guide us. Our faith is not for public consumption, because most people wouldn't understand and many would be offended. it is ours, it is personal and it is strong.

Unfortunately, it is not the same faith that Daniel, or may others in the bible had. Nor is it the kind of public faith that scripture tells us to have. But it is ours, and others appreciate that we keep it to ourselves, so it must be ok.

Here at home, we still have the legal right to exercise our faith, in full view of others, even though many would like to change this, but we still find many reasons to make sure that others don't see us practicing it, proclaiming it or living it in front of them.

Here is a link to a video of a couple of lions fighting.

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