Do you talk to yourself? Daniel did. When he heard the king’s instructions concerning what was to be his new diet, an interesting conversation ensued, though not a word was uttered. In the inner recesses of Daniel’s mind, intense dialogue was being exchanged. How should he respond? What should he do? What might the consequences be for his actions?

At last the matter was settled and Daniel talked it over with his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then he told his overseer the decision they had made. It looked like they were giving up a lot. They weren’t going to be able to eat the best of the best; instead, they were going to have to eat vegetables. But after being tested for 10 days and having an interview with the king, it was clear they had made the best decision.

I once heard a pastor say, “Think about what you’re going to think about.” That’s good advice, and it’s exactly what Daniel did. He thought in advance what challenges might test his character, and he made a decision right then and there how he would respond when temptation came. Maybe he even asked himself something like this: What are some of the temptations that are going to confront me and influence me to sin against God?

How does this play out in your life? What are some of the temptations you might face today at work, home, the mall, or even the grocery store? I hope you’ve made up your mind how you will address them. Be smart by thinking first like Daniel.

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. — C.S. Lewis

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.