-A CASE STUDY OF DANIEL
August Bible Study
Texts: Matthew 22: 36-40, Daniel 1: 3-7, Luke 10: 25-37,
- Effective Relationship among Christians
- Sustaining An effective Relationship
- Christian perspective on a life of integrity
- Daniel as case study
EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIP AMONG CHRISTIANS
An effective relationship requires trust, respect, self-awareness, integrity, and open communication. As Christians our first form of relationship is knowing Christ and having eternal life. Good relationships make life enjoyable perhaps more than anything else. Even if your circumstances aren’t the best, if you have loving relationships, you can enjoy life. You can make a pile of money, but if your relationships are broken or shallow, your life will be empty. A poor man with a loving family and good friends is far richer than a ric8h man who is poor relationally.
The Bible ranks effective relationships as the most important thing in life. A Jewish religious expert asked Jesus in Matthew 22: 36, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend on the whole Law and the Prophets.”
A loving relationship with God is of first importance; but loving relationships with others is second. The Bible is all about these two important relationships. The Bible emphasizes healthy relationships so highly, it’s sad that there are so many believers who have hurting or broken relationships. Many Christian homes have been shattered by divorce. Some who stay married are unhappy. Their homes are a tense battle ground, not a loving refuge. Many Christian parents are at odds with their kids and the kids with their parents. On the church level, some bounce from church to church, leaving a trail of damaged relationships behind. I know of Christians who won’t speak to other Christians because of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and wrongs that have taken place. Sadly, the loving families, genuine friendships, and healthy relationships that we want most out of life often elude us.
- How do we form effective relationship as Christians?
- Are some Christians so incompatible that they can never have a satisfying relationship? Should they be avoided?
- Is it ever right to distance yourself from a person who has offended you, rather than trying to work things out? If so, when?
SUSTAINING AN EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIP
Sometimes sustaining an effective relationship isn’t easy medicine to take, because to do these, we’ve got to kill all immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (Col. 3:5). we’ve got to put aside all anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lying (Col. 3: 8-9) and we’ve got to put on “a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and integrity; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other” (Col. 3: 12b -13). The reason you should do this is because God has graciously chosen and loved you. Relationship can also be sustained using The Jesus method; (he served and ate with people. He didn’t consider Himself better than anyone John 13: 4-5). The following are some ways of sustaining an effective relationship among us as Christians.
Don’t just go to church, Get involved: There is virtually no way to have a meaningful relationship, let alone get the personal nourishment you need, by simply attending the church. It’s just not God’s design (Acts 2:42-47). Friendly greetings, brief conversations, and just your presence alongside others have value, but meaningful relationships develop as you get involved in multiple aspects of church life. That might include joining a small group, serving within the church building, or even just going to or hosting social gatherings.
Maintain a loving attitude: Attitude is the combination of heart and mind. It involves both knowledge and feelings, and it’s revealed in the ways we act and speak. As you combine what you know about God’s Word and about a person, your attitude towards them should be Spirit-controlled and full of the kinds of love described in Galatians 5:16,22-26.
Pursue loving actions: Anything you are doing with or for a person within your church body should be characterized by love. But first, you must do something. Just your presence and effort to come to something shows care and love. As you’re a part of events, service opportunities, classes, Bible studies, and/or groups in your church, you’re acting in love. As you get together with people from your church outside of the church building for meals, playdates, exercise, sporting events, home improvement projects, and whatever else you might be into or need, you are pursuing loving actions. The emphasis is both on love and action. They’re nearly inseparable.
Speak loving words: Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). So, if you want to preserve and strengthen your relationship with others, speak loving words. Again, this doesn’t mean that every word that you speak will be pleasant to hear, but our words should be characterized by a loving attitude, purpose, and sincere tone. This will most certainly include words of affirmation, encouragement, and building up (Eph. 4:29). But it will also include words of correction and rebuke. Our words should evidence our love for the ones to whom we speak and the love of the One who is our guide and purpose in all things.
- How important do you think it is to manage emotions in relationships?
- How do emotions relate to building an effective relationship?
CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON A LIFE OF INTEGRITY
One of the effective ways in sustaining a good Relationship lies on our integrity. This study will broadly explain a Christian perspective to a living a life of integrity.
The word integrity is related to the mathematical term integer. An integer is a whole number. Integrity means our character is whole, not split into fractions. Integrity has been defined as being honest, having strong moral principles and non-compromise of godly principles. It has also been mentioned that integrity is the distance between your lips and your life. It is keeping to an honorable life and refusing to deceive those around you. Unfortunately, integrity is disappearing fast in our generation, men of honour are scarce. Deception is rife, and those who are easily deceived abound. Jesus said “Take heed to yourselves, that no man deceives you, for many shall come in my name and say I am Christ. In order words, it takes a thief to follow a thief. Children recognise their parents. If you lack integrity, you will follow a deceiver. Integrity protects from harm; it saves time wasting and helps to secure us from the enemy who tries to polarize us. The question we need to ask ourselves is How can we develop integrity? When we Practice openness, truth, and non-compromise of fairness. Let your yes be yes and No be No. The Yorubas will say “Bi iro ba lo ni ogun odun, ojo kan soso ni otito yi o ba”. It means a lie will not last forever, truth will always catch up with it. Don’t join them to persecute anyone over a matter that you didn’t witness and follow not a crowd to be a false witness. Honour friendship above money; money may finish, people will remain. Above all, remember that we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ.
How to checklist:
If we’re doing these things, we’re more likely to have integrity than when we’re not.
- Be honest with God, self, others; be sincere (Eph. 4:25).
- Have courage to live your beliefs in the face of opposition (2 Tim. 3:16).
- Make actions consistent with knowledge of right, and wrong (1Tim.1:19).
- Be an example; live the basic principles of the gospel (2Thess. 2: 4-5).
DANIEL A PORTRAIT OF INTEGRITY
It’s been said that “Integrity is what a person is in the dark.” That is, they are the same whether they are in public or in private. But a person of integrity not only passes the privacy test; they will pass the peer test, as well. As we see with the example of Daniel. Daniel’s life is an example of how we can live a life of integrity in a culture that is trying to squeeze us into its Mold. These actions are not commanded; they are commended. Our task is to take the principles that Daniel lived and apply them to our own modern experiences. The way we think about God, ourselves, others, and the world determines how we live. If Nebuchadnezzar could get these young men to think like Babylonians, they would begin to live like Babylonians. The reverse was also true: The less they thought of themselves as the Lord’s people and as His servants, the less they would live like one of them. The basic principle from the life of Daniel is as follows.
- Know what you believe.
- Trust what you believe.
- Live what you believe.
- Do we need to attend church to have a relationship with God and others.
- Why do our actions so often contradict what we say we believe?
- What is the difference between integrity and character?
I know, my God, you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.” – 1 Chronicles 29:17 (NIV). This verse says God is happy when we live a life of integrity. That God smiles when we choose to do the right thing, based on the right beliefs, at the right time. Well, certainly the actions of Daniel in our passage for today, must have made God smile.