Don’t waste your slavery

I’ve been posting a bit on Proverbs and the practice and understanding of life that it presupposes and teaches in the context of the Bible. I’ve said a fair bit about freedom (or maybe better, kingship) and slavery. I’m worried I’ve distorted the picture a bit by making slavery bad and freedom good.

It is not good to be a slave in the same way that it was not good for Adam to be alone. He was meant for a wife and we are meant for dominion. But that doesn’t mean all Adam’s time spent alone was wasted.

Paul says that a child is just like a slave, so all the Proverbs begging the son to listen and memorize what his parents tell him are, in a sense, exhortations to be a diligent slave.

The constant temptation in Proverbs is to try to escape slavery by violence or sexual fantasy, or to use one’s mouth to wreak vengeance on rulers who have what you don’t yet. Solomon says that the plan for escaping slavery is diligent slavery. Work and give and save.

I don’t always agree with Dave Ramsey but this principle may lie behind his point that looking for a “fix” for debts, like a con-solidation loan will not work. The person’s perceived shortcut will leave them with the same habits that got him into debt in the first place. You have to change your way of living to change your life.

So you have to learn to be an efficient and cheerful slave in order to be raised from slavery. Otherwise, you will fall back into it. There is no shame in being born in slavery and being freed. There is a great deal of shame in being free and selling yourself into slavery because one is ruled by bad habits and appetites.

So your slavery is there to teach you how to be a free man–or rather, a king.

3 thoughts on “Don’t waste your slavery

  1. Pingback: Mark Horne » Blog Archive » Joseph didn’t waste his slavery

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