NOTE: THIS ARTICLE is a reprint from the blog of reverend Kevin Rogers of New Song Church in Windsor, Ontario and is reproduced here for your convenience. You can visit the his blog called "The Orphan Age" HERE.
Sometimes the opinion of others will be quite different from whom you actually are. People will want to get you to fit into their ideas instead of knowing you as you are intended to be.
Daniel’s three Jewish friends who were taken captive with him were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. These three friends’ names were changed by the Babylonians to Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, respectively. Daniel was given the name “Belteshazzar” (Daniel 1:6-7). These names incorporated the names of Babylonian gods.
The reason Daniel and his friends’ names were changed was likely to encourage them to forget their past and to adopt Babylonian customs. Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes: “Obviously, pagan theophoric names like these must have been assigned arbitrarily to these four Israelite students without any consultation with them, since the new names contained the names of false gods” (ed. Frank Gaebelein).
But Daniel and his three friends determined to remain faithful to God. This would be demonstrated multiple times in the events told in the book of Daniel.
You can live in bondage to what others expect of you, or you can live out your identity as an adopted son or daughter of God. It is only when we surrender to our God-given identity that we can find the grace to serve others freely without fear or an obsessive need to gain approval.
I don't necessarily endorse all content from this site but it's always good to get different perspectives. https://revkevinrogers.blogspot.com/2021/04/i-dare-you-to-be-who-god-says-you-are.html