Then they told the king,
“That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law.
He still prays to his God three times a day.” (Dan 6:13)
Know which were the top ten employers in Malaysia last year? Have a guess. A local company, Eco World, topped the list! Two other Malaysian companies were also featured:SP Setia and Sunway Building Materials Group. The rest were foreign multinationals like American Express, DHL, FedEx, Starbucks, Marriot and AbbVie Pharmaceuticals. OCBC Bank also made it. While every one of these companies had high performance cultures, they also scored high in employee engagement, as well as recommendation confidence and effective leadership. The question remains: was this reflected in the bottom line? You bet! These employers achieved 33% higher revenue, and 64% higher profit than the market average despite a challenging year for Malaysia.
But within every company is the unsavoury world of internal politics where gossip, bad-mouthing or backstabbing form part of an unseen subculture. Great companies have less of this, but its everywhere in the workplace. Daniel faced this in the court of King Darius where he served. His success (v 3) evoked jealousy among his colleagues; they couldn’t pin him down in his integrity, character or his work which was excellent, so they contrived a situation where a new edict issued by the king would clash with his personal devotion to God. And so, it came to pass when Daniel’s daily prayer ritual to Yahweh was reported as a mark of treason (v 13). He was thrown to the lions!
We learn lessons here about workplace politics. Firstly, success will bring you enemies. Work hard, excel, get wisdom and succeed anyway! Secondly, succeed in a godly way, so that there is no blemish on your integrity, character or work standard. Thirdly, don’t compromise on loyalty and faithfulness to the Lord; let it be known you are a follower of Jesus, and if you are mocked or hated for that, so be it. Fourthly, show God’s love to your peers; they may abuse it for their own ends, but God will protect you as he did Daniel. Lastly, cover your workplace with prayer. It shuts even the mouths of lions!
Ps Dr Philip Lyn