10 Characteristics of a Slave


No one wants to be a slave, but being free requires a tremendous amount of work mentally and spiritually. A slave has to be prepared to live in freedom.

After the Israelites were delivered from Egypt, God tried for forty years to remove their slavish mentality. They pined for the food of Egypt, begged Moses to take care of them, and rebelled numerous times. As I read through the book of Exodus, I came to the startling conclusion that I resemble the wandering Jews. Even in this land of freedom we can be captive.


  1. don’t know what to do unless they’re told
  2. rely on others for sustenance
  3. whine when they don’t get what they want
  4. are ruled by fear
  5. do only what is required
  6. blame others for their problems
  7. harbor bitterness
  8. are unable to trust others
  9. have no hope for the future
  10. revolt against government

My own heart is on this list more than I like to admit. Thankfully, God is patient. He is my provider and my hope. The future is in his hands. He continues to lead me towards liberty as I trust him. I just wonder how much longer I’ll wander in the desert. It must be time to enter the Promised Land.

14 Responses to 10 Characteristics of a Slave

  1. Renae,

    Exodus is a bit like a mirror to me too. It makes me uncomfortable sometimes, because I see so much of myself in them. But then I realize that God was with them in a different way. I have the Holy Spirit, they only had the fire and the cloud. They had to still go through Moses. I can boldly approach the throne of grace.

    Which means, I suppose, that I have even less of an excuse for my behavior! lol

    It is so easy to be led, to find yourself in bondage. I am working on thinking governmentally in a very conscious way. That will help me see with my mind’s eye where I am slavish.

    That also looks like a list describing most children! Let’s grow up in Christ this year, being rooted and grounded in love…

  2. PrincipledMom,
    I heartily agree that this should be the year to grow up! I was thinking about how this applies to children as well. Little ones have to be discipled in self government or they remain slaves to their whims and passions. If it isn’t done while they are young it is even harder to correct later. I often whine about the present conditions even though I know there are things more important than the here and now.

    Thank God that his grace is sufficient!

  3. It is interesting you mention being slaves to their own whims and passions. There are so many in society today praising exactly that. They think it is liberty.

  4. Dana,
    You’re right. Being governed by feelings is not freedom but that is what so many have been taught. In high school I thought I was being a hypocrite if I didn’t feel like praying or studying my Bible. When I was taught the virtue of doing right, regardless of emotions, I was relieved.

    Henny Penny,
    Thank you. I’m still thinking about this too. :)

  5. Wow! That is quite a list – I am on there too in so many ways. The one that bothers me the most at the present is how dependant I am on others for sustenance! There are so many ways to apply that but the two that struck me first were 1. spiritual sustenance – my brother once said to me that reading other peoples commentaries or listening to their sermons and teachings is indeed getting fed spiritually but it is equivilant to getting the crumbs from someone else’s banquet with the Lord! So true! We need to remember to climb up to the table and enjoy the feast He has for us! ( :
    2. Physical sustenance – I often think about the current state of our economy and how dependant I am on stores and electricity – I am ignorant of basic survival skills I would need to provide for my family. Ignorance is most definitely bondage!

    Thanks for posting this – so much to think about – I am thinking this will make a great lesson to do with my kiddos – maybe a t-chart where we list the characteristic on one side and the Biblical example on the other side (ohh and maybe a third column for them to list the personal application). I can see this one really touching my kids hearts as they recognize these characteristics in their own lives.


  6. Mandi,
    Thanks for adding your ideas. If you make a t-chart please send me a copy and let me know how the lesson goes.

    I hadn’t thought of applying this to spiritual sustenance but your statements are true. I should be feeding myself consistently instead of relying on others to give me the milk of the word. Another benefit of growing up is eating steak smothered with mushrooms and onions! Yum!

  7. I will be glad to share! I will try my best to remember – my memory is in sad shape! ( :

    Mmmmm! Yes lots of onions and mushrooms!!!

  8. I love it! (Are men allowed in here?) :-)

    I look around at our whole attitude towards government as a culture and realize that we are not as free as we think we are. At least not on the inside. And… If we are not free on the inside, we will ultimately lose our external freedoms as well!

    God help us!

    And if we ask Him, He will.



  9. ThristyJon,
    Of course men are allowed! The principles I discuss should be applicable to all even though the focus is applying them to home education and is written from a mother’s perspective.

    We have already lost many of our freedoms in this country. Thankfully the principles of liberty are still there so they just have to be restored. God can do that through his people if we will set the example by throwing off the bonds in our own hearts and lives.

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  11. I think the irony is that slavery(bondage) is to be subject to my own whims and influenced by the world all around me.

    True freedom is to submit myself to servitude under the Lord.

  12. Thanks for the link!!

    This is one of those mull-over posts. You could almost use it in any situation. How often have we been a “slave” to sin and not thought about it? Or had an attitude that needed changing when we saw the truth??