Aaron didn’t pierce his nose, dye his hair purple, listen to music with obscene lyrics, or get in trouble with his parents and teachers. But Aaron was a rebel. He stood out. Aaron went against the flow. Aaron was a Christian who had decided he would do right no matter what everyone else was doing. And there weren’t many of those around. But he was popular in school. He was an all-state athlete who was applauded for his academic attainments. He turned down athletic scholarships because the scholarship with the most perks was from a Christian College that offered him one for “Christian Leadership. They wanted him around because of the influence he would have on others. They knew he would not be “overcome of evil but would try to overcome evil with good”
Call me weird and slow on the uptake but I have never understood the mentality that, in an effort to be different, does a lot of crazy things and dresses as if for a Halloween party because “everybody else is doing it.”
In a sense, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego were rebels. They stood out. Everybody noticed them. But it was for all the right reasons. They resolved “we will not fall down and worship” any being except Jehovah and they stuck with that resolve even under the threat of death.
What worked in the first century still works! “Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your behaviour seemly among the Gentiles; that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” I Peter 2:11-12.
Christian’s are “an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” The King James says, “a peculiar people.” The Christian swims upstream. Most of the others go with the flow. The Christian rebels, not against authority of God, but against being crammed into the mold of the world. Many a graduation speech has urged young people to “dare to be different.” But the example is not a wild-eyed, dope hooked, amoral rock or rap star, but a Daniel or a Joseph. The supreme example would be Christ. He was really different. There were none like him before and none since. And it would be a waste of time to anticipate one like him in the future.