English Standard Version (ESV)
It's occasionally tempting to withdraw from the world, to find a quiet monastery and spend my days there, leaving behind so many of the conflicts of the world. To be in the world means you're always coming up against differing values, some that challenge us, some that confront us. It can be exhausting, but it's also an opportunity -- in every conflict, we have the opportunity to state what our values are. As a people of faith, we live out what we believe, each and every day. What does your life say about what you value? When you find yourself in conflict, how do you choose what voice to follow? Sometimes this will ask a lot of you. The temptation to withdraw, to find a quiet way around, will always be there. But the call to live out what you believe will also be there, and sometimes, when your values and the world's values come in the greatest conflict, you'll discover the greatest opportunity to make a statement about what you believe and why it matters.
Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego had been appointed over the affairs of Babylon. They had a lot of responsibility, so they were clearly handling themselves well in a messy situation. I'm guessing they were constantly trying to figure out where to draw the line and where they were comfortable following the predominant culture. Here, though, at the worship of a false god -- they drew the line there, and they would go no further.
Their principled stand has been recorded in the pages of history and made a bold statement to a number of people. Where are places in your life, in our society, where you are called to do the same?