One of the things we look for in each of the chapters is what we can learn about the people who are central to the narrative. One of the men shared he was impressed with Daniel’s regard for Nebuchadnezzer. Daniel seemed genially concerned for Nebuchadnezzer’s welfare.
As we talked through the application of that thought it occurred to us that we sometimes do not hold those in our sphere of influence who are not believers in high regard. Sometimes, in fact, we are irritated or worse with them.
Romans 1:14 came to mind. I am OK with being under obligation to the wise, not as OK being under obligation to fools. But that is the assignment. We are redeemed to be as Christ. Luke 19:10 says He came to seek and to save that which was lost. In 1 Corinthians 9:19 – 23, Paul says he does all things for the sake of the gospel. In 2 Corinthians 5:14 – 21, Paul describes himself, and by extension us, as begging people on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God.
That includes people who may rub us the wrong way or would not be included in a gathering of the “wise.” It occurs to me that when we treat people with high regard, we are more likely to gain a hearing for the gospel.
It is a good thing that Christ can use our weaknesses, 2 Corinthians 12:9, for without His enabling grace there are some who I would not tolerate well.