«He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end» (Proverbs 29:21).
In 1749, the Academy of Dijon, in France, offered a prize for the best essay on an interesting topic: «Has the progress of the arts and sciences contributed to corruption or the purification of morals?» The winner of the contest was John Jacob Rousseau, who through his essay «argued that the arts and sciences had led to the corruption of morality»—Bowen and Hobson, Theories of Education, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 1987. Rousseau’s statements shook the French society. Later, this man would modify the pedagogical perspectives of the time and write in 1762 his main work: Emilio. In his writings, he severely questioned traditional education, accusing it to be one of the main factors of human unhappiness.
Education is fundamentally important in the destiny of the people. To err on this issue carries serious negative consequences, among them the one mentioned by today’s verse: to be governed by the least competent. But it all begins when we consent to submit to the demands of a child who, through his tantrums or whining, begins to assume the leadership of a house or a school to impose his guidelines. In the future, that child will become an adult who uses manipulation to subdue their spouse, friends, coworkers, and even his brothers and sisters in the faith, at will, under the threat of creating some kind of scandal if their directives are not followed.
Ellen White says: «Every child that is not carefully and prayerfully disciplined will be unhappy in this probationary time and will form such unlovely traits of character that the Lord cannot unite them with His family in heaven. There is a very great burden to be carried all through the life of a spoiled child. In trial, in disappointment, in temptation, he will follow his undisciplined, misdirected will. «Children who are allowed to have their own way are not happy. The unsubdued heart has not within itself the elements of rest and contentment. The mind and heart must be disciplined and brought under proper restraint, in order for the character to harmonize with the wise laws that govern our being. Restlessness and discontent are the fruits of indulgence and selfishness»— Child Guidance, ch. 39, p. 213. Ask the Lord today to help you respect those who have authority.