Focal Passage: Daniel 5:13-17, 22-28
“Know your why.” If you’ve ever read a book on leadership or attended a conference on organizational effectiveness you have probably heard that statement. Leadership teachers use this terminology to emphasize the importance of a company knowing and remaining true to its purpose. I believe that knowing your why is imperative for an individual’s success in another area, speaking the truth with boldness.
Daniel was bold but let’s simplify what Daniel did, he spoke truth to the king concerning his sinful behavior and the judgement that God was going to bring upon his kingdom.
We might be tempted to try to muster up the same kind of boldness. I believe that would be like trying to make a cake appear out of thin air. We can produce a cake by combining the necessary ingredients and baking them at the proper temperature. What are the necessary ingredients we must combine to “bake boldness?” Love for God and love for others.
Yes, the keys to being bold are the great commandments given by Jesus in the New Testament (Matthew 22:34-40). In a sense, the greatest commandment (love God) and the one like it (love your neighbor) serve as our “why.” These two truths produce the purpose statement for the Christ-follower today. If we stick to our purpose, speaking the truth with boldness will occur organically. Let me show you how.
God has revealed Himself to us mainly through His Word. So, a part of loving God is loving His Word. Psalm 119:47 says, “For I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.” This may signal a necessary perspective change for you.
The Bible is not a list of rules that you should approach with drudgery. The Bible is God’s Word given for the sake of salvation, worship and human flourishing that we should take in with delight.
Notice Daniel did not hesitate to share the interpretation with Belshazzar. Daniel displays a supreme confidence in God’s Word that can only come from delighting in it. Every fisherman knows what you do with a picture of a big fish, you show as many people as you can. You can’t help but share with others what you love and delight in.
The great commandment determines what we share, the commandment like it determines how we share it. Without loving people we run the risk of replacing boldness with brashness. The word brash is defined as being “self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way.”
I’ve met plenty of people that are brash with their Bibles, I bet you have too. The term “the Bible says” should never be uttered unless it’s spoken with an earnest desire for people to experience redemption through repentance. If repentance is God’s desire (II Peter 3:9), it should be ours.
Now, some people will tell us that if we love people we accept, affirm and celebrate their behavior no matter if it runs contrary to God’s Word.
There is nothing more unloving than silence in this kind of situation. We would do well, however, to remember Paul’s word in I Corinthians 13:1, “If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge … but if I have not love, I am nothing.”
Boldness is a by-product of a believer prioritizing their purpose. You can’t bake boldness without the right ingredients. B&R