“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” -Proverbs 31:20
Many of us can’t remember the last time we opened our arms to the needy. Between struggling to pay the bills, getting our kids and ourselves from place to place, and trying to maintain a Godly home, our plates have never seemed more full. Many of us rush through tasks until we finally crash, exhausted, into our beds while others wonder how they will pay their bills and also give their tithe. At times, we feel too stretched to give. At times, our arms simply feel too full of responsibilities to open them.
What does generosity mean? What does it mean to extend our hands to the needy? Satan might whisper into our ears that it means giving up all of our ‘extra’ money or foregoing all of our free-time for volunteer work. We hear tales of wonderful women who go out on mission trips all over the world to do God’s work, and we can sometimes feel very overwhelmed. Isn’t this what God desires when He asks us to open our arms to the needy?
Satan tries to lead us to believe that we are unworthy unless we give in very specific ways. Don’t be fooled by these lies.
It is God’s desire for us to call upon Him and search our hearts for ways that we can open our arms. This may include a number of actions, ranging from paying the rent of a struggling family, giving away slightly used or new clothing to shelters or churches for the homeless, donating some of our home-cooked items for families who are hungry or for soup kitchens, or even something as simple as babysitting for a family that obviously needs a break. Many of these tasks require some of our time, possibly a bit of our money, but most importantly, the love within our hearts.
Those who are needy are not always those who need financial help. A woman might touch a hundred lives simply by donating a few of her old devotional books to a local library. Lives that may have needed God either by finding Him for the first time or finding Him again. Baking meals for a friend whose loved one has passed is another form of generosity that sometimes is forgotten. What God is truly asking of us when He commands us to extend our hands to the needy is show His love to others.
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” -Proverbs 31:21.
We all know that God does nothing by accident. His purpose for our lives is greater and more unimaginable than anything of this world. Nearly all of us have been at a point in our lives where we were called to give, usually money, and suddenly we found ourselves fearing the outcome of giving. We immediately think of the bills we have to pay, or the fact that our child needs a new pair of shoes.
In some of the new translations, ‘clothed in scarlet’ simply means that they are dressed in warm clothing. The very same woman who, in verse 20, opened her arms to the poor and needy is also the woman whose family does not fear winter because they have warm clothes. How does this family know they will be warm?
The answer is relatively simple: the family has great faith in both God and the woman to take care of their needs.
God rewards those who are generous in good faith, and a true, hard-working Proverbs 31 woman will do almost anything to assure her family has its needs met.
We, as women, need to request that God show us how we might extend our hands to the needy, and when we feel called to give some of our hard-earned money, push away the fear of the financial loss. God honors good works done in faith and He will bestow blessings upon those who give with an open and loving heart. away our hard-earned money, push away the fear of the outcome. Never forget that we have a loving God who provides for those who give with an open and loving heart.
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