Discussing Spiritual Differences- Daniel 1:8-10

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

COMMENTARY

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs
Yesterday I spoke of how Daniel’s moral beliefs were at odds with the prince of the eunuchs’ fears. The two men were at an impasse, but notice from this verse that the relationship between them was not hostile. Daniel had already established a positive relationship with those whom he wished to have respect his culture. Read again the prince’s rejection and you will see that it is not motivated by malice, only by a fear of self-destruction.
In fact all of the exchanges in this story seem to be laced with a certain tenderness, both from Daniel and from his caretakers. All that follows in the tale is only able to occur because it is founded on the love between Daniel and these men.
Surely this is a lesson to all of us when discussing differences in our beliefs. These matters will go far more smoothly if we are able to first establish a mutual respect between us. And if we want respect for our different beliefs, first we need to establish a respect for one another’s person. Love for one another is the foundation of equality.

Evolving Your Beliefs- Question

We come to God to be refashioned by Him. He promises us “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). I think most of us have a pretty basic expectation of how this refashioning is going to go. He’s going to take away our craving for sin, make our hearts kinder, and give us a deeper appreciation for the sacred. And at first, this might be exactly how things proceed.

At some point, though, there usually come changes that are unexpected. You see, each of us is an imperfect mortal, and invariably have misconceptions about God. At some point He is going to try and correct those, to show us who He is more truly. Beautiful as these moments are, they can also be disconcerting. We can have strong, emotional ties to our misconceptions, and letting go of them can feel like heresy.

Even more troubling, sometimes people struggle to let go of their misconceptions of God without letting go of Him entirely. They recognize a legitimate flaw in their previous belief system, but let go of the belief instead of the flaw.

With this study I would like to explore how we can safely navigate doubt, questions, and evolving perspectives. Have you experienced any of these in your life? Did you ever find it difficult to separate misguided periphery from the actual core of the gospel? In what ways did your spiritual life change after being enlightened?