It is safe to say that most of us have never seriously thought of ourselves as slaves. After all, we are Americans and live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Furthermore, our narcissist society permeates us with the belief that life is “all about me.” We are taught from an early age that “success” is achieved by accumulating stuff and indulging our every whim. Our society values competition and praises “winners” who become rich and powerful. When we consider who is being held up as popular role models, it would seem that morality is the sworn enemy of popularity. In this sea of self-glorification, it is easy to understand why we do not take kindly to the truth that we are really slaves.
Many people (including Christians) will argue against this assertion claiming (rightfully) that we have “freewill.” And since we have freewill, we are not slaves. We do, indeed, possess freewill; however the problem is that our freewill is not all-powerful and that, while we are able to make certain choices, those choices are limited by circumstances beyond our control and EVERY choice we make (or don’t make) comes with a natural consequence. For example, you can choose to quit your job and earn no income – you have freewill to make that choice. However, since you don’t control the freewill of other people, the natural consequence of your action is that you will soon be poor, homeless, and hungry. If no one has pity on you, you will become completely destitute and die. The “choice” you made with your freewill has placed you at the mercy of others. In other words, you have become their “slave” in that you must comply with whatever directives they demand of you in order to obtain the resources you need to remain alive.
While we may not like the label “slave,” the fact of the matter is that we are all slaves to something or someone. Being a “slave” simply means that we are admitting that we are not in complete control of our lives and our destiny – that EVERY ONE of us has a “Master” of some sort. This is a very difficult admission as it hits at the core of our prideful human nature. However, there is good news for us – we can choose our Master. The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 6 that the work of Jesus Christ has forever broken the power of sin to be our master. Without placing our faith and trust in Jesus, we are slaves to sin and destined to suffer the terrible consequences of our selfish actions. For those of us who do accept and follow Jesus, a new Master is available in Christ our King. As we choose to obey the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives, we will reap the benefits of His protection, grace, mercy, and eternal life.
As we continue our studies in Proverbs and contemplate living lives of wisdom, I encourage you to consider the benefits of slavery and praise God Almighty that you are a servant of The King!
-Pastor Dave Jones