(Proverbs 29:21 KJV) He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.
Most Americans know that slavery was a part of our past. What they don’t seem to understand is that slavery is a part of the past of almost every country. It is not an exclusive American scar. Until England outlawed the slave trade in the early 1800's and later outlawed slavery in the British Empire there was not major country in the world, in all of history, that had condemned the practice. There is also no major religion in the history of the world that has issued a blanket condemnation.
What does this teach us about slavery and being a “servant” (slave NASB) (5650)? For one thing it teaches what is clear through the entire Bible, slaves are to be classified as human beings. They are not animals or sub-humans. This puts definite limits on how you treat them. Of course some people don’t even know how to treat their children, so the instructions are hard for some to obey.
One of the reason slavery has disappeared in the Christian world is that the Bible insists on treating them well. Over time this destroys the practice.
So? You don’t own any slaves? Join the crowd. You do, however, live in a culture that has other accepted practices that are to be rejected or modified by believers. Sexual sin, the “spin” (lies) of politics, dishonest claims in selling used cars, the list could go on and on. Examine your own list.