“When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.”
When the heat is on, we can tend to react unwisely and “come back” with an equal, or even more forceful response than what was thrust upon us. It tends to be our way of defending ourselves these days. But, we actually know better and from experience understand that more fuel on the fire does nothing but cause more chance of getting burnt. Yet, we continue to do it to only suffer the consequences later, many times coupled with regret. If we see these actions taking place in our work and within our culture, it’s a warning sign of worse to come. It’s an ember that will take off if we are not careful and deliberate in stamping it out.
The definition of discretion is this: “The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information”. God gives us the account of Daniel and how he reacted to the “harsh” decree of the King that he and his friends were to die just because the King couldn’t get his dreams interpreted. Daniel could have fled. He could have attacked the messenger (shooting the messenger came later in history). But he did neither. He instead stepped back, tempered his emotions and we are told, “wisely” used discretion to go and talk it out with the King. We don’t always have the chance to change someone else’s mind or ways, but we always have the power to control how we respond. There is a reason we still say, “Discretion is the better part of valor”.
Reference: Daniel 2:14 (New Living Translation)