The life of Daniel is exceptional. He rose from captivity to prominence in the land of his captors. How was Daniel able to achieve such a feat? It is very clear from the life of Daniel that he prioritised his love for God above every other thing.

Daniel was a man who was not afraid of being different. It is common for many young people to desire to belong. Belonging is a natural instinct. We yearn to be loved and appreciated by our peers. This draws many into temptations and lifestyles contrary to the word of God. Apart from belonging, we also desire the approval of our colleagues and superiors. Love and approval are affirmative and bring great encouragement. However, from the life of Daniel, we should realise that God has already loved and accepted us. Our biggest and most important approval comes from our Father in heaven. If all men reject me, He gladly accepts me. When all men hate, His blood still speaks love on my behalf.

Daniel’s desire to be different made him an influencer in his society. His desire to be different brought God’s favour upon him. Daniel could have been accused of being controversial, but it was for a good cause. By refusing to defy himself at the king’s table, Daniel gave room for God to show his glory in the situation. We learn from the life of Daniel a few key lessons. We should endeavour to make our love for God the most important thing in our life. We have to be strong in faith and not yield to the pressure of sin and defiance. When we do this, we allow God to prove Himself faithful to us. Daniel did not strive to become an influencer. He was only obedient and God made him influential. Only God can make us influencers!