Not Demanding, Not Rude
Thursday - June 3rd
Scripture to Read Today: Daniel 1:8-14
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.
2 Timothy 2:24 NLT
When visiting Japan, Americans often find the service in restaurants to be the best in the world. The impulse of visiting Americans is generally to leave a big tip in response to such excellent service. Japanese servers don't understand the American custom of tipping. They often think the money was left behind accidentally, believe they should report the incident to their boss, or, worse yet, take the money left behind as an insult.
When American tourists find resistance from servers hesitant to take a tip, the tourists often rudely insist or demand the server take the tip. Even as well-intentioned as they might be, their behavior is off-putting and ruins the spirit of the generous appreciation intended by the tip in the first place.
How we carry ourselves matters. Intentions are not enough.
So, if you visit Japan, don't be demanding or rude, even in such a simple thing as insisting your server accept your tip.
When Daniel and his three friends from Judah find themselves living in the pagan Babylonian capital as captives, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar sets them apart to be retrained and prepared to be added to his advisors. He wants them to be fed the very best food and served the best wine of Babylon. For the young Jewish men, the luxurious Babylonian delicacies represented defilement before their God.
Daniel 1:8-14 indicates that Daniel acted as the spokesman for the group. He approached those assigned to oversee them by the king with an alternate plan for their meals. Daniel used sincere questions and gracious suggestions to move the hearts and minds of his captors. He made no demands. He never acted forcefully or rudely.
As Christians, we must follow the example of Daniel and his friends as we navigate a culture that drifts farther and farther from anything that resembles God's values. Too often, our impulse is to claim our rights as American citizens and push back forcefully with a rudeness that matches the worst of anyone in the world. We should be different. We should not be demanding or rude. We should follow Daniel's example.
Paul encouraged the young pastor Timothy with similar advice: "A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people" (2 Timothy 2:24). We, too, must be kind to everyone, patient with difficult people.
Think about how you treat others - especially those who see things differently than you do. How do you respond when voices push back on you, your faith, or your desire to live faithfully for your God? Do you respond with the same spirit as Daniel did when making his requests of his captors?
As followers of Christ, we should carry ourselves with grace, kindness, and a lack of rudeness!