We should be completing our series on the Proverbs 31 woman today; however, in reviewing these posts a few weeks ago, I discovered that I’d totally skipped verse 20! I’m not sure how I missed this one, but we’re going to highlight it today – just a little bit out of order! Next Monday we’ll end our series with verse 31.
I think we once again glimpse the heart of this woman in verse 20: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
The Virtuous Woman is Generous.
Her spirit is not one of stinginess or selfishness, but one that cheerfully gives to others, expecting nothing in return. The words “stretcheth” and “reacheth” are used here, which reminds us that being generous is not always easy; it sometimes requires self-sacrifice and the postponement of satisfying one’s own desires.
Notice that the verse does not say what she gave materially, although she would certainly have sought to meet people’s physical needs. Rather, the focus is on her hands and her willingness to help the poor. She didn’t wait for those in need to find her, but reached out to them.
Knowing all that she accomplished for her family, this lady still made it a priority to notice those around her who were impoverished. Perhaps some required a gift of her time, her sitting down and talking to one who was lonely, maybe shut-in or bedridden. Maybe it was a word of encouragement, either verbally or in writing, to a discouraged soul. Preparing a meal, sharing warm clothing, and giving financially would all have been done with her hands as acts of generosity.
My husband and I want our children to learn to be sensitive to the needs of others and, as it is in their power, help in a way that is fitting. Therefore, we need to set the example by being liberal in sharing with others and in giving of our time, possessions and finances in order to aid someone who is struggling.
What do you find to be the best way to show your generosity to others?