“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is praised.”
Here we are, the last of the Proverbs 31 Woman. I have a deeper understanding of who she is, how God sees her, and how she is an asset to the church. It is also apparent that we can all glean wisdom from this section of scripture, not just women.
Our church has needs: physical and spiritual. The church is the body of Christ, and sometimes, I think, we look at the church as only a building. Our minds automatically seem to hear the term “church” and we see a building. Is that you too, or is it just me?
As a church, do we invest in the physical building, or the people?
"If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel gifts that build up the church.”
I Corinthians 14:11-12
“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or interpretation. All of these must be done for strengthening the church.”
1 Corinthians 14: 26
Investing in a building is easier than investing in people, in my opinion. A building does not reject you because you are saying something it does not want to hear. It does not have days where it does not feel like helping, when an illness has taken over, or when life gets to be too much to handle. The building does not shy away from God, hiding the shame of sin.
When we invest in the church, we use our gifts to further Christ’s work; we are investing in people, not a physical structure. How can we invest in the church? What sorts of things can be done as an investment?
People overthink, or maybe it is just me? I used to think that the only way to invest in the church is with money. I never felt I had skills or gifts that would benefit anyone in the church.
I listened to a sermon by our pastor, and to be honest, I don’t remember what it was about, but I do remember him saying that we all have something that benefits the church. Whether it is being a great organizer, a fantastic cleaner, or a skilled teacher.
God gave us talents and gifts to be used to further His kingdom and to serve in the church.
Teachers in the church are important, but some wonderful teachers do not feel they can do this job. They feel inept, under qualified, and lost when thinking about teaching. Our world says that teachers need special degrees to impact lives. God says that if he placed this in your life, you should teach. Listen to God, don’t listen to the world.
We spoke of the physical caring of the church, but we also need people to care for the people in the church. Mentoring the youth and mentoring new Christians is such an important role in the church. Not only are you investing in the person, but you are investing in the church.
”She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God.”
The physical is easy as far as investing in the church, in my opinion. I am an introvert: I do better when I do not have to keep up with people, making small talk, meeting expectations. Unfortunately, we are called to love people, not things.
Giving comes naturally to some people. It is not hard to give money, unless you struggle financially. Unfortunately, giving money is sometimes taken as: “I have done my part, now I don’t have to do anything else.” The problem with that philosophy is that the money is impersonal. You do not have to get emotionally involved, care, or love to give money.Our world screams that money makes things better, but I disagree. Only Christ can do that.
Maintenance and Upkeep
The physical building of the church needs tending. If you enjoy this work, then help in the church! Our world says that these types of jobs are not valuable, and are often looked down upon. I disagree. The act of physically caring for the church building is such a powerful way to serve and worship at the same time! How better to say “I love you” than by cleaning for others?
We all have basic needs: food, shelter, and clothing, right? The act of caring for individuals in this way crosses into both areas. Feeding, sheltering, and clothing people is an act to care physically for the church, as well as showing the love of Christ. Beautiful, isn’t it?
The Proverbs 31 Woman invested in her church, and the people within. From this part of scripture, we can learn valuable lessons on all sorts of investing: the valuable kind that glorifies God.
“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
I have enjoyed writing these articles, and I hope you have enjoyed them as well!
May God bless you in your journey,and may you bless someone in return.
April 22, 2019