"The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom." -Daniel 1:20
I love the example of Daniel and his friends. Daniel was such an unwavering model of faith, excellence, and purity, in spite of the world in which he and his friends found themselves.
"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." -Daniel 1:8
Daniel and his friends were excellent in four areas:
Physically: they were physically fit & disciplined
Mentally: they were filled with wisdom and knowledge
Relationally: they had one another for support, were respectful, and were highly favored among the king & his officials
Spiritually: they were filled with faith, they did not bow down to the world's system, and Daniel was excellent in his spiritual gifting (dream interpretation)
"To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds." -Daniel 1:17
The Bible says Daniel and his friends were 10 TIMES better than all the other magicians and enchanters in the land. To me, the example of Daniel and his friend speaks volumes. They lived in Babylon, in the world's system, which was contradictory to their faith. They lived as foreigners under the king's service. But they remained pure, disciplined, accountable to one another, and spiritually aligned with God. I believe it was because of these four things that God showed up in their midst. (Daniel 3:25)
Daniel challenges me in these four areas of my life, to be excellent and sharp in each one. Does Daniel's example inspire or challenge you? May we be the best examples of the God we serve, so that His light can be revealed in us for all the world to see.
"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." -Daniel 12:3