Controlled or Controlling?
“The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by one great thing.” - John Piper
I’m in Russia this week – near the Finnish border – and it is cold.
Bundling up each morning, I step outside and enjoy the invigorating rush of ice-cold air. I work to stay upright in the foot or more of crunchy snow that did not melt the previous day (or month). The Celsius thermometer shows temperatures way below zero – for the day’s high!
In my room is a thermostat that I use to regulate the wonderful heat that keeps me comfortable. The thermometer is controlled by the surrounding temperature. And, the thermostat controls the surrounding temperature.
Daniel and his friends were captives in a foreign country. They were expected to fit into the new culture and accept a new religion. But they graciously and creatively refused to be thermometers, adapting to their pagan surroundings. Instead they made a difference, becoming highly effective and influencing the climate in which they lived.
“In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them (Daniel and his friends), he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.” (Daniel 1:20)
Reject the negative influences that swirl around you and, like Daniel, make a difference in the lives and culture you encounter.