Biblical Christian Principles of Self-Management: Lessons from the Life of Daniel the Prophet
Daniel the Prophet was one of the most revered figures in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Near the end of Judah's kingdom in 606 B.C.E., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured parts of Judah and Jerusalem and carried prisoners of war off into exile in Babylon including Daniel and other members of the royal family from the tribe of Judah. When the captives like Daniel arrived in Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar selected the finest young men from the Judean royal family to be educated in the ways of Babylon and serve the king in his own royal court. Of all who were trained to fulfill this act of service, no one distinguished himself more than Daniel. This hub discusses lessons of biblical, Christian principles of self-management gleaned from the life of Daniel the Prophet.
Daniel Lived a Pure and Blameless Life
The first biblical principle of self-management demonstrated by Daniel was a pure and blameless life. In the opening chapter of the book of Daniel, Daniel recounts the story of how he and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were selected to be trained to serve in King Nebuchadnezzer's royal court. Accordingly, the king ordered that all the trainees were to be fed the finest food in all the land. Daniel who loved God and who was devoted to serve God with a pure heart did not want to violate his relationship with God by eating food sacrificed to foreign gods. As such, Daniel and his three friends asked to be excused from eating the forbidden food and in that way demonstrated a desire to live a pure and blameless life.
Daniel was Diligent in All His Duties
The second Christian principle of self-management demonstrated by Daniel was industriousness i.e. he was diligent in his work and distinguished himself above all the other young men. Industriousness is the act working hard no matter the task given. Daniel was born into the royal family of Judah. He could have rested on his laurels and refused to cooperate with his Babylonian captures. Instead, he chose to work hard and eventually found himself as an advisor to the kings of the Babylonian and the Medo-Persian empires. Diligence, hard work, and industriousness are biblical principles of self-management.
Daniel Practiced 360 Degree Leadership
A third biblical principle of self-management demonstrated by Daniel the Prophet was 360o leadership. 360o leadership is the art of influencing members in all parts of an organization whether they be under you, equal to you, or over you. Daniel showed this great ability in his ability to give important and timely feedback to the kings in Babylon and Persia as well as his ability to persuade others to follow his suggestions.
Daniel Refused to Compromise His Moral and Ethical Convictions
Another Christian principle of self-management demonstrated by Daniel the Prophet was his refusal to compromise his moral and ethical convictions. After the Babylonian Empire was overrun by the Medo-Persian Empire, Daniel found a place in the court of King Darius. soon Daniel began to distinguish himself among the Medes and the Persians and was promoted to the royal court of his newest captures. As Daniel began to move up in rank, the others in the royal court became jealous and tricked King Darius into signing a decree condemning the worship of the Almighty God. Daniel, however, refused to stop praying and worshipping the One True God and instead chose to continue his practice of praying towards Jerusalem three times a day. For his steadfastness and perseverance, Daniel was handed over to King Darius who reluctantly cast Daniel into a den of lions to be torn to shreds. In the end, God saved Daniel. Daniel showed another biblical principle of self-management which was not to compromise his moral and ethical convictions.
Daniel Practiced Spiritual Disciplines for Insight from God
The practice of spiritual disciples was the fifth biblical principles of self-management demonstrated in the life of Daniel the Prophet. Reading through the Book of Daniel one is struck by Daniel's prayer life and the other spiritual disciplines he practiced throughout his life. Spiritual disciplines are practices by devout Christians which help them draw close to God and help them listen intently for God's direction in their lives. Daniel encountered some harrowing predicaments in his life, but always turned to God through prayer to discern God's will for the situation. Spiritual disciplines include:
- Bible study
- Bible Memorization
- Corporate Worship
- Practicing God's presence throughout the day
- Personal worship
- Bible reading
- Other practices that enhance one's relationship with God.
Daniel Believed God was Present and Active
The final Christian principle highlighted here is that Daniel believed God was present and active in his daily life. Daniel demonstated a profound faith that God was real and concerned with the affairs of men, women, and children on earth. By this faith, Daniel called on God to reveal mysteries and received compelling answers about the days ahead.