At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. (Dan. 1:15)

AS A YOUNG PERSON, I often had the opportunity to hear speakers at my church who had dramatic conversion stories—former drug addicts, reformed criminals, ex-gang members, that sort of thing. They told of the desperately wicked lives they’d lived, how they had abused alcohol and drugs, lived promiscuously, and, in some cases, gotten away with murder. And there I was, a good little Dutch girl, raised in a Christian family, surrounded by godly parents, aunts, and uncles. The worst thing I could remember doing was not washing my hands before supper. “Maybe I need to sin a little,” I thought to myself, “so God will have something to save me from.”

Fortunately, I learned that there are two kinds of salvation. There is salvation from sin, meaning that God delivers people from desperately wicked lives. And there is salvation from the effects of sin, meaning that a godly life produces freedom from addiction, guilt, shame, and the destructive results that sin brings.

Daniel and his companions were not saved from the effects of bad choices. At this point in their lives, they had no miracle tale of being delivered from the belly of a whale, like Jonah, because they did not run from God. All they had to show for their faithfulness were rosy cheeks, bright smiles, and good posture. Come to think of it, that, too, is pretty amazing.

List the effects of sin you’ve never suffered, and give thanks.

Heather Gemmen Wilson is the author of the Global Warning Series (WPH), a fiction series for preteens, and she inspires young minds as a professor of creative writing.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.