Focal passage: Proverbs 31:13–21
Act responsibly with what God has given you.
The way in which we use (or don’t use) our resources really does matter to God.
It may seem silly, but I’ll never forget the moment I tossed an American cake mix into the trash with tears in my eyes.
I was serving as a missionary in Central Europe and pre-packaged baking items were expensive. I hoarded them for special occasions.
On this particular day, I realized I had been so cautious with my stash that the items were far past their expiration date and could no longer be consumed safely. By saving the mix, I had completely missed my opportunity to enjoy its deliciousness and share it with those around me.
In Proverbs 31: 13-21, we read of a virtuous woman who did just the opposite with her everyday resources. Her example reminds us that we must humbly steward our God-given possessions, not allowing them to be used frivolously or go to waste.
The woman was quite enterprising; she looked for wool and then worked it with “willing hands” (Proverbs 31:13).
She brought food for her family, rising early to make sure each person had what they needed.
This virtuous woman was so determined to use her resources wisely that the writer explained, “her lamp never goes out at night” (Proverbs 31:18). She knew the resources at her disposal and managed them thoughtfully and responsibly.
Cake mixes hold very little allure for me today; I see hundreds of them every time I enter a grocery store. And yet, those boxes never cease to remind me that each gift we have is meant to be used wisely for the Kingdom, not hoarded away behind a kitchen cabinet.
We have been given so much more than treats in a pantry. Whether it is skills, talents, financial blessings or even time – each is a gift from our Heavenly Father. He has entrusted us with these resources, and we are to use them responsibly, just like the woman described in Proverbs 31.