(Proverbs 17:2 KJV) A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
I wonder if “servant” (5650) in Hebrew is the same as Greek, a synonym for slave. It seems to be the most common for both. As Americans we have a difficult time understanding the concept of a servant class. We are believers in the idea of “all men are created equal.” We may misunderstand what that means. It may still be an idea that is seeking perfect expression. But there is still something in the American way of thinking that says we can achieve.
How does this apply to us? First, classes are always with us. As I get older and rub elbows with more people I can see that while we all can be equal before God and the law, we are not of equal ability. Some people just don’t have what it takes to be big achievers. This is not based on race or socio-economic nitch, but on personal ability. I don’t like the idea, but some people will never be anything more than peasants. They may have had rich parents and have a lot of money, but they are nothing but a drag of society. I could list many celebrities, but let’s not get personal. Other people will move ahead or die. I think of Frederick Douglass. He was born a slave, but refused to be broken. He taught himself to read. He escaped and became a successful leader, author, editor and diplomat. Read his autobiography if you get a chance. It is called Narrative of the Life of a Slave.
People fit into certain jobs and classes. There is a sense in which we need to accept that. There is a saying, “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.” That is fatalistic. It should have added to it, “No, but you can make some great fried pork rinds.” You may not be a bank president, but you be the best brick layer in town. You may not graduate from college, but you can raise honest, responsible children. You can be the best that you can be.
Which leads to other thoughts if I can get to them today.