I recently went through the book of Daniel with our Wednesday night teen girl’s class, wanting them to understand all of the valuable lessons in the book about peer pressure and not conforming to an unholy society. It is always amazing to me how God can take a book that you have been familiar with since cradle roll class and show you incredible new insight. I learned so many things from Daniel this time around that I can’t begin to list them all, but the thing that impressed me the most was the astounding way he communicated and the wisdom he expressed with his words. Perhaps the reason this aspect of his personality stood out to me upon this reading is that my husband has recently taken to affectionately referring to me as “Peter.” Anyone that knows me will understand this reference immediately and probably chuckle a little. I am a VERY impulsive person. I often do or say things without fully thinking them through. I’m not saying that being compared to Peter is all bad. I do share his zeal and have a very passionate faith. I know though, that I must try to improve when it comes to thinking fully on my actions and words.
Daniel was an amazing person. How many teenagers do you know who would stand up, as a prisoner of war being fed from the royal table, and raise an objection (Daniel 1:8)? He did not speak rudely to the official, but politely stated his case. If he had been unkind, chances are his demands—however well-intentioned they were—would have been quickly dismissed. The same scenario plays out several times throughout the book: Daniel is faced with compromise, but instead of taking the easy way out, he takes the right way. Most of the times we see him interact with someone during a difficult situation, the first thing he does is to go to God in prayer before he makes an impetuous decision. Each and every time Daniel seeks God’s wisdom in this way, he is blessed with the perfect, wise words to say. He always seems to know how to navigate each difficult situation and I know this isn’t an accident…it is God working through him!
Sisters, how many times are we too much like Peter in the way we jump to conclusions or speak hastily? We should practice, as Daniel did, slowing down before we speak or act and taking time to speak with God. If you think about the people in your life that you truly consider wise, they are probably the ones who do more thinking than speaking. We could all benefit from more thought in our day-to-day life, in each and every decision that we make. So, for all of you Peters out there, I’ll issue a challenge: today, take one decision that you would have made without thinking, and take a few minutes to reflect and pray about the outcome. This could be something small like what to eat for lunch (I know I am constantly filling my body with junk I shouldn’t) or something big like saying something about someone behind their back. If we all do this with a few decisions at a time, we can change our entire decision-making process and perhaps become the wise women God has intended us to be.