Recently, I was re-visiting the book of Daniel and was led to some interesting insights from the marketplace standpoint.
In chapter 1 from verses 3 to 4, it mentioned that the king ordered to bring in some Israelites to serve in his palace and these were the pre-requisites: “young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand.”
Lesson One- Outward appearance matters
I believe in this list of pre-requisites that the king was looking are similar qualities that our employers or bosses look for in promoting us or entrusting us for higher tasks.
Likewise, whether we are employees or not but as business-owners, we should strive to have this qualities as this would lead us towards upward mobility for higher influence.
Notably, physical appearance was highlighted by God citing that Daniel was handsome. Much to conventional christian thinking where heart is more important than looks, this provides an added perspective that looks do matter. If it didn’t, it would not have been included in this passage.
This means that as marketplace ministers, it is equally important that we pay attention to our outward appearance where we’re well-groomed. As people will normally judge our personality and character from our appearance, therefore we should dress to impress in order to impact positively.
I believe this is true as there have been many examples that I have personally witnessed where the boss did not appreciate the good work of his staff just because he (the boss) didn’t like his face or his style. Or how someone who dresses sloppily does not pass a job interview or sales pitch in spite of having a good portfolio.
Lesson Two- Attitude seals the deal
It was only after getting pass the physical test (as indicated by the order of pre-requisites), the king was then able to look further into the inward traits of desire for learning, being well-informed and quick to understand.
This clearly shows that we need to be people that keep learning and improving on the job. Employers are looking for people who display competence and a spirit of excellence that are ready and quick to produce and contribute to their ‘kingdom’ or organisation.
Having these inner traits speaks of forward-thinking people, who do not wait for things to happen, but make things happened because they see the things ahead that are coming their way. With their progressive intelligience, they are able to respond and not react to the changing market forces.
Like Daniel who was able to interpret visions and dreams, as effective marketplace people we should also be able to interpret the trends in our industry. For example, understanding the trends would help in identifying the opportunities that might be present ahead and to seize it before our competitors do.
This simply means that we also be thinkers who give solutions to problems and not merely doers with our jobs.
Conclusion- My personal prayer
Many of us usually hope to see changes in our results or outcome, but I have come to discover more and more than it begins with ourselves first. It begins in redefining who we are, and upping our commitment to ‘play the game’ in the marketplace as a professional.
Once our thoughts and attitude changes, our actions changes, and so do our results.
With these simple insights, I pray that I will avoid complacency at work by just meeting the basic expectations. I want to strive in exceeding the normal expectations by putting more effort in taking my work to another new level with God’s anointing.
I believe every word that is written in the bible is inspired by God, is meant to teach you and me invaluable lessons for living successfully.
6 thoughts on “Some Insights for a Marketplace Minister”
Recently, I was also re-visiting the book of Daniel and was led to some insights from the kingdom perspective. Daniel was in the world but did not conform himself to the standards of the world. Unfortunately, many pp today conform themselves to the worldly standards/logical methods to gain human acceptance, thus forgetting the first & only loyalty to the Almighty Creator & His amazing way is never even near to our ways.
“Test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said.”At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s rich food. Then you can decide whether or not to let us continue eating our diet.”
So the attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the rich foods and wines. Dan1:12-16(NLT)
Yup I guess we are all learning to strike a balance with His words and our spiritual convictions.
We will fall one time or another, so its the unconditional love and acceptance of God that really helps us to grow and be motivated.
Likewise, I believe we need to create that atmosphere of love and acceptance in the body of Christ so that His people can be nurtured and flourish.
Jesus instructed us, “to be scheming as serpents but yet gentle as doves” as He sent us as sheep among wolves.
Unfortunately, many goats end up copying the popular methods of the wolves rather than maintain the kingdom perspective.
The refusal to conform to worldly standards/logical methods just to gain human acceptance/popularity is a central theme throughout the whole Bible, not only in the Book of Daniel. Even in the face of death, & being the minority of the minority (3 out of millions), the ability to trust in the Living Word of God is to be praised. AMen.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Dan3:16-18(NLT)
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Mat7
Well I don’t really understand this –
Lesson One- Outward appearance matters
But in 1 Samuel 16,
Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Please note that it is God that looks at the heart not man.
As pointed out in the later part of that verse, “Man looks at the outward appearance….” So this further underscores how we should pay attention on our dressing and grooming.
Of cos not just to feel good abt oneself but also to look good for God in order to be “all things to all man”.
Sorry for interrupting again.
>”Notably, physical appearance was highlighted by God citing that Daniel was handsome. ”
Firstly, I think it was king Nebuchadnezzar who wanted strong,healthy & gd looking men, not GOD.
Dan 1:4 “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good sense, and have the poise needed to serve in the royal palace. Teach these young men the language and literature of the Babylonians. ”
Secondly, I think fearing GOD & obeying Him is more rewarding than pleasing the king/boss/employer. Imagine refusing to eat roast turkey, honey baked ham, log cake, & wine with your boss & colleagues this holiday season and eating vegetables & water for 1 month instead just because the LORD tells you to do so?
Dan 1:15 At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.
Lastly, in our society, there is no need to dress sloppily nor the need to overdress just to impress. Hey, if your job requires you to wear shirt & tie or suit, then just do it, but on weekends, it’s perfectly ok to dress-down, wear your comfortable Levi/Lee/etc jeans & T-shirt etc. If you insist on wearing l/s shirt & tie on weekends, it’s up to you, but seriously, it’s gonna be perspiring hot in our sg climate!
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”
2Cr 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ’s, even so [are] we Christ’s.