In these next two verses, we see yet another side of the Proverbs 31 woman. She is a willing, eager, diligent worker who uses the skills and talents she has to the fullest!
To give a little background/context to the verse above, wool and flax were two materials in the Bible used to make clothing. They are both mentioned many, many times from the Old Testament to Revalation, and the skill of making them into yarn and linen for clothing was highly valued. The Proverbs 31 woman obviously knew that she needed to use her skills, gifts, and talents to the best of her ability and truly lived out the principle in Colossians 3:23 which tells us to “work heartily as to the Lord and not to men.”
We also see here that she takes initiative. The CSB and the NIV both say that she “selects” wool and flax and the NKJV says that she “finds” it. She does what she needs to do to get her job done. She is resourceful. She didn’t have the materials readily availble, so she found them herself!! From this, we can conclude that the Proverbs 31 Woman was proactive in her endeavors and wasn’t hesitant about putting in the necessary efforts. She puts in the effort necessary.
And she doesn’t put in this effort half-heartedly or begrudgeingly. According to the NIV she “works with eager hands” and the NKJV and CSB both describe her working as “willingly.” This adverb is defined as “readily; of one’s own free will”. These descriptive words also tell us that she wasn’t “idle” as Proverbs 19:15 warns us about. How many times do we do our work, but with a sour attitude or with minimal effort? And how many times do we procrastinate just long enough so that we can put it off until tomorrow? I am right here raising my hand shouting “GUILTY AS CHARGED!” But, in striving to be like the Proverbs 31 Woman, we must overcome this because she shows us to work with eager hands, which I would presume means gladly and without complaint and also…promptly. lol.
So how can we apply these characteristics and actions of the Proverbs 31 Woman to our lives? Here’s a few ways I think we can!
-What are you good at? This doesn’t necessarily have to be your “job”, but what gifts and skills do you possess? Figure this out first. For example, are you great at explaining things to others, are you an awesome graphic designer, do you have the gift of encouragment, are you extremely organized? The sky is the limit here- what gifts do you have and what skills do you posses because of them?!
-How can you use this skill to glorify the Lord? Once you know what you’re good at, figure out how you can use this talent to glorify the Lord! The Proverbs 31 Woman was skilled in creating things from flax and wool, so she took initiative to further devlelop and utilize these skills. But if you’re great at encouraging others, then maybe the way you use this gift is by signing up to be on the greeting team at your church and welcoming them in with a smile and an encouraging word! Or if you are great at graphic design, then maybe you look for a job or find ways that you can give glory to God by contributing or selling great art work!
-What steps do you need to take to make this happen? The Proverbs 31 Woman went out and “FOUND” her flax and wool. So what are your “flax and wool”? What materials do you need to further develop your skills and talents? Do some research if you need to, and start taking the next steps!
These two verses about the Proverbs 31 Woman let us know that she wasn’t lazy or idle. She was a dedicated, resourceful worker who used what skills and talents she had in practical ways. The good news for us is that this isn’t TOO terribly challenging to implement in our own lives! I hope that the questions above help you to get started on becoming more like the Proverbs 31 woman in this aspect!!!