Proverbs 29:19–22 – “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”

wgaesI begin today’s devotional by reminding the reader that proverbs are sometimes general sayings rather than universal statements.  For instance, not all servants and employees have a rebellious disposition or a disagreeable spirit; however, Proverbs 29:19 appears to state otherwise.  The burden of proper application lies with the reader and this writer.

Proverbs 29:19 – “A servant [bond servant] will not be corrected [instructed; taught; reproved; chastened; disciplined] by words [implication is “by words alone”]: for though he understand [consider; perceive; regard] he will not answer [reply; give an account to his master].”

Many employed in the public and private sectors have adopted a self-serving spirit and give little thought or concern for the wellbeing, profits or future of the companies and owners who pay their salaries. minimum wage demands Government and union leaders have fostered the opinion that companies and employers are enslaving their employees to get rich and employees deserve $15.00/hour wages regardless of how mundane their employment tasks.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a fair wage, but that cannot be divorced from the reality that an increase to $15.00/hour would not only cause hyper-inflation, it would also bankrupt companies that could not justify such an increase in costs.

Like the servant portrayed in Proverbs 29:19, mere words alone will not convince a surly employee that their demands are not only unreasonable, but also impossible!  Because such an employee is not interested in reason, the most reasonable action is—Go somewhere else and find your $15.00/hour job!

Christian employees should dedicate themselves to giving their employer their best effort (1 Peter 2:18-19; Ephesians 6:5-8).   Don’t be foolish and “bite the hand that feeds you”.

bite your tongue1Proverbs 29:20 – “Seest [behold; look; contemplate] thou a man [husband; steward] that is hasty [hurry; pressed; make haste] in his words [speech; saying; discourse]? there is more hope [expectation] of a fool [stupid; silly] than of him.”

A man with an angry disposition and an unbridled tongue (Ecclesiastes 5:2) is a trouble to himself, his family and peers.  There are many who have talents and skills that should guarantee them success; however, their inability to discipline their temper and bite their tongue (James 1:19) makes them a greater liability than one who is a silly fool!

Proverbs 29:21 – “He that delicately bringeth up [lit. to pamper; indulge] his servant from a child [from his youth] shall have him become his son [heir] at the length [lit. “in the end”; in the future].”

Having been an employee and an employer, I readily identify with the beautiful portrait Solomon paints in Proverbs 29:21.  I am blessed to work with men and women, many I have known for years, and sincerely love and trust as sons and daughters.

Proverbs 29:22 – “An angry [wrath; flaring of the nostrils; passionate] man stirreth angry peopleup [meddles; contends; excite] strife [contention; discord; brawling], and a furious [wrath; indignate; raging] man aboundeth in [great in; mighty] transgression [rebellion; sin; punishment].”

You know them; in fact, you may be one of them–angry, mean-spirited men and women who are a source of strife and sorrow; trouble follows them because they are poison in every relationship.  They are rebels, destroyers and a cancer to the spirit and well-being of their family, friends and organization.  Having the nature of a fool (Proverbs 14:17), they should be avoided by all who desire peace, safety and happiness.

Copyright – 2015 – Travis D. Smith