Thursday, August 8, 2013

Proverbs 31:20 That cheerful giver

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Here she comes again . . . that cheerful giver!

Our ideal woman in Proverbs 31 is definitely setting the bar pretty high for us, isn't she? In addition to all of the things we've learned from her so far, we find now that we need to be generous. (Grin)

Seriously, I'm sure that most of us are generous people, and have no problem giving of our time, our money, and ourselves to what the Lord brings to our attention. 
I'm wondering if Lemuel's mom put this here to emphasize not only the generous and giving spirit of the ideal woman she's describing, but also to call attention to the fact that all that's gone before -- thriftiness, trustworthiness, diligence, and more -- has made it possible for this woman to give to the poor and the needy.
Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."

Because of the careful attention that the Proverbs 31 woman gives to her household, she doesn't waster the valuable resources that her husband brings home. Because she is trustworthy, she is a careful accountant and utilizes those resources in the best possible manner. Because she is hard-working, and a savvy businesswoman, she is able to add to the family income and be an integral part of the financial plans.

Stands to reason, then, that she would want to be generous with what she has, and help those who are less fortunate. I might be walking way out on a limb here, but when I see that she "opens her arms" to the poor, I think she is gifting them with money to get their necessities. Here's where I'm out on a limb: the next portion of the verse says she "extends her hands to the needy."  When someone is down in a hole, or needs help climbing out of a low place, what do you do? You extend your hand for them to grab hold of and pull -- you are giving them "a hand up." I believe that may be what this Spirit-filled woman is doing; she not only gifts them financially, but she helps them in sensible, practical ways. Ways that help them stay out of that tight spot, that low place.
Perhaps she is teaching them a skill or giving them encouragement from her own experience. Perhaps she is giving them what they need to move forward and keep moving. Perhaps she knows of a job for them to apply for and to do. Maybe it is just the example that she sets, for them to imitate.

This Spirit-filled woman is truly challenging us to be the best that we can be!

1 comment:

Belinda said...

She is definitely challenging me!! And I think it's sometimes much easier to hand over a dollar bill, than to give your time or a hand up. Note to self.