Proverbs 12:9 “He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoreth himself, and lacketh bread.”
This verse could be paraphrased, “He that is looked down on yet has someone working for him which is a sign of his industriousness an managerial ability, is better than he that is so full of himself and concerned with his appearance, that he lacks one of the basic necessities of life, food.”
When I think of this verse I think of a man and his employee who make an honest living as garbage collectors. They are looked down on because their job is a dirty and disgusting job. Then on the other hand, you have a guy without a job, but with an impressive appearance. However, he is so full of himself that he is not willing to do menial tasks just so he can have enough money to buy bread. He is a man wise in his own conceit. There is greater hope for a fool than for someone wise in their own conceit (eyes).
Now let’s draw some applications.
Do I ever find myself thinking that certain jobs are below my dignity? Jesus did not, and He was God! He washed the disciples dirty feet. That was not just two feet but twenty-four feet, including the feet of the one who would betray Him (John 13:1-15). Next time a job comes up that we think is below our dignity, let’s repent of our pride, and remember Jesus, and do it as to the Lord (Heb. 12:1-3, Col. 3:23).
The world despises our Jesus , and as His servants we ought to expect the same (John 15:18-21). I’d rather have Jesus, than anything this world offers in place of the Bread of Life. The hymn “I’d Rather Have Jesus” comes to mind:
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
2. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name
3. He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead
May Jesus be our desire.
Do I honor (put weightiness to) what I think more than to what God’s Word says, and thus deprive myself of spiritual food, because of my carnal, blinding pride?
Romans 12:16 “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”