Monday, March 18, 2013

Proverbs 29:21 It's just logical

A servant pampered from youth will turn out to be insolent.
A servant pampered from childhood will become a rebel.
If you pamper a servant from his childhood, later on he'll become ungrateful.

I put three translations of this verse up there, because I thought each one brought a little different meaning to the table, but they all play well together.

Have you ever heard of an "if then" statement? I believe it is used in logical reasoning, in mathematics and in computer science. To those folks, it is a conditional statement --- let me explain:

It tells a computer program to execute (act on) a certain section of code (computer geek text) only if a particular test evaluates to true. Lets say there is a high tech bicycle that is electronically assisted . . . the computer could tell the brakes to be applied if a certain condition was true (the bike is going down an incline at an insane rate of speed, the computer picks up screaming from the rider, etc, etc). If that condition was not true, the computer would not mess with the braking system.

In logic, a professor might write on the chalkboard, "All men are mortal." Then he could turn to the class and say, "If I am a man . . . " and a student might finish for him, "then you are mortal." This can be carried to ridiculous conclusions by some people who want to trip others up, and say "All fish are wet." They'll then point to a person who just climbed out of a pool and say, "She's wet, she must be a fish".....but hopefully the professor will have told you that the statement is directional; you can't turn it around backwards.

OK, this was a round-about way to get to this: there are some conditional statements in the Bible! There are a lot of "if then" statements, and we have studied a ton of them in Proverbs. Whenever Solomon points out an action, and then notes a consequence that will happen, he just used one of those conditional statements.

So let's look back up at the verse translated up there. We've talked before about how we are servants of God. And in all three translations the word "pampered" is used. The dictionary says that pampered means:
"to treat with extreme and excessive care, to gratify every whim, to humor, to indulge, to baby.....
Where am I going with this?
Right here.
Have we ever whined about how we think our Father is treating us? Have we sniffled about how hard we have it? How we don't get our way? How things just aren't up to snuff in our way of thinking?
Hmmmmm.  I think I heard myself being rebellious, insolent, and ungrateful.
We're asking Him to pamper us, aren't we? To gratify our whim, to indulge us? Ouch.
I think God wants different results than the conditional statement says will happen (rebel, insolent, ungrateful). I think I need to remember these verses:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33
 I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Psalm 119:67, 71
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  Romans 8:17
And lastly . . .

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
It's just logical.

1 comment:

Belinda said...

A former pastor of mine was often heard to say, "Count it all joy, my brethren! Count it all joy!" And he always seemed to. I would hope that I can eventually get to a place where I can do that, but it's an uphill climb on that bicycle. And without any help from a computer!! ;)