Proverbs 14:35

The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.


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Discrimination is rare, if a man is wise. This proverb is a general rule that exalts wisdom and condemns folly. Though the difference between a king and a servant is very great, wise conduct will earn the king’s favor and foolish conduct will bring his wrath. It is not a dislike of servants that brings the king’s wrath; it is usually the shameful folly of the servant. Kings are happy to favor and promote a servant, if he is a wise and useful one.

You live in the heyday of irresponsibility. Few accept accountability for their foolish actions. They excuse themselves and blame others. They refuse responsibility for their own failures; they want to make others responsible for them. They always have excuses, which mean nothing to anyone else, for they have no basis in facts. They expect much for little effort. They blame and condemn others, if they are not rewarded highly and quickly.

Women use their sex as an excuse, Blacks their color, the old their age, and the young their youth. Hispanics, the handicapped, American Indians, and many others want to blame uncontrollable factors for their status in life. So there is much complaining about sexual, racial, age, and religious discrimination among other excuses. But the real issue most of the time is incompetence, foolishness, or slothfulness of the party bellyaching.

The proverb contains a rule. Wise conduct will bring promotion, no matter how great the difference between the one promoting and the one promoted. There is far less discrimination of sex, race, and age, and far more discrimination of character and conduct, than people want to admit. And discrimination of character and conduct is good.

If a man is gracious with a pure heart, the king will be his friend (Pr 22:11). Lords reward those who fulfill their duties; they punish the slothful (Matt 24:45-51). Generally, men do not arbitrarily punish the faithful and reward the derelict. A wise servant can be promoted over a shameful son and participate in the inheritance (Pr 17:2). Reverse discrimination!

Character and conduct are keys to promotion or punishment, and you daily choose one of them for yourself (Pr 9:12; Gal 6:3-5). Do not blame discrimination or fate. Performance carries more weight than preference, character more than chance, and conduct more than circumstances. Your situation in life is mostly what you have made of your life.

Do not deceive yourself, though it is a common problem. The truth of this proverb is that a lack of character is the main reason for your life and relationships being behind others. If you convince yourself that you are behind due to others and discrimination, you will lose ambition, become bitter, criticize others, and further reduce any blessing or favor from God or man. The difference between successful men and losers is the degree to which they are wise or foolish. Make a difference today for your life – be noble and wise.

Do not let anything divert you from your course with God or man. Every man shall give an account of himself soon. Do not be intimidated by the Lord you serve and bury your talent in the ground, for He is an austere man and expects to receive a return on His investment, even if it was only one talent. He rewards and punishes with perfect justice.