"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Sunday, May 3, 2009


"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
Proverbs 31:13-24 NIV

So, this Ms. P 31 that we have been studying this past couple of blogs is really starting to show her true colors. First off, we have determined that she brings her husband good, not evil, through the way she treats him. Next, we are going to see a very important trait: industry.

Whether you stay at home or work outside the home, this concept of industry is very important. You see Mrs. 31 is not a thumb twiddler. She is up and at 'em in every area of her life: business and on the home front. I think these verses can be liberating to us, ladies. For those of you staying home and wondering if you should allow those degrees on your wall to collect dust, you can look at her and see how she made a career out of taking care of her family. If you work, you can look at her and see that she was a business woman, a seamstress and a realtor, yet she still managed to be the care taker of her home as well. She is also a philanthropist, giving of her time to help those in need. I don't think these verses suggest that you have to do it all and do it all at once. But, what it does show is how we should be industrious in all our roles: wife, mother, businesswoman, humanitarian.

Work is a part of this life. God's word says, "So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?" Ecclesiastes 3:22 (NIV)

Whatever "job" God has given us at this season in our life, we can choose to learn to enjoy it and be industrious in it, or we can choose to loathe it and become lazy. Only one will bring us closer to how He desires us to be. Only one will show an unbelieving world a true view of Christianity.

I think the important aspect to gain from these verses that is perhaps not clearly spelled out, is Mrs. P's attitude. No where in the verse does it say that "Begrudgedly, she selects wool and flax," or "Against her will, she opens her arms to the poor." No, Mrs. 31 is doing all these tasks without a grumble or a complaint. In fact, I think her attitude about her work is summed up by the following:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

Whether you are a stay at home soccer mom (that's me...part time), a three day a week pediatric emergency room nurse (that's my bff), or a full time lawyer, business woman or administrative assistant, do it as though you are doing it unto the Lord. If that is where He has placed you for a given season, then accept that call and just work as if He is your ultimate boss. What an amazing change we might see in our world if an army of Proverbs 31 wannabe's started acting as though they were serving the ultimate Boss and not some earthly tyrant (which may take the form of a two year old in some cases...). Could lives begin to change? Could hearts begin to change? Could people begin to see us as this woman that we have placed upon a pedestal?

Here's to industry...

Until next time,


Your Turn:
1.) Attitude Check: No matter what your position in life, how is your attitude towards it? Do you set about your tasks with the same vigor and industry as our new BFF?
2.) What causes our attitude to sour? Is it the hustle and bustle of busyness? Is it fatigue? Is it lost perspective? What makes you have a bad attitude towards your given lot in life?
3.) Think about your main "job." How can you start working as if your boss is the One and Only?

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