Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!
|Dr. Larry Poland|
Getting Past Ego to Reach Understanding
“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
— Daniel 10:12 (NIV)
Has it ever seemed to you that the entertainment business, especially film and television, has more than its share of people with enormous egos? In your mind, run through the instantly recognizable names in power in media, and it will be difficult to name one known for humility. My father had a tongue-in-cheek observation about a “big ego” person: “I’d like to buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.” It’s frightening how much ego devalues us by getting in the way of both understanding and spiritual usability.
When God’s messenger speaks to Daniel in the above passage, he associates Daniel’s divine favor with two personal starting points: the point at which Daniel “set his mind to gain understanding” and the point at he “humbled himself before his God.”
Survival Principle: Gain understanding; it is far more valuable than wealth, power, or prestige.
A person filled with himself or herself is not interested in gaining understanding, only in being heard and in being recognized. Proverbs says it this way: “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (Daniel 18:2) Favor with God and others begins with seeking not to be understood, but to understand.
Survival Principle: You learn nothing with your tongue loose; that’s why it’s one of the few organs God made with its own cage.
The second starting point for Daniel’s success was the day he set out to “humble himself before his God.” In our society in general, and in media in particular, there is little market for humble people, especially those who humble themselves before God. Yet, this is why Daniel is addressed by God’s messenger a few verses earlier, “you who are highly esteemed.” Daniel joyfully accepted his position in the Cosmic Pecking Order. This took him out of competition with God and put him in concert with Him. God, then, “heard his words and came to him.”
Survival Principle: God ultimately doesn’t bless the self-made man; he’ll just worship his maker more fervently.
Seek understanding and humble yourself before God. He’ll listen to you and come to you, too!