By Gene Price
Pastor, Tumbling Creek Baptist Church, Gleason
Often Proverbs 31 is viewed as a passage written describing an ideal wife. Yet this Proverb contains many business principles that apply to both men and women. The Proverbs 31 “business woman” understands that her business and its success are directly related to her God-given talents, skills, abilities, and the plan He has for her life. Her goal for both her business plan and her life is to seek God and to glorify Him in all her endeavors. All business activities should be viewed as a ministry for God.
In verses 13-15, a godly person is diligent in their labor. This diligence in labor is pictured by a woman as she fulfills three different economic roles: producer, consumer, and manager of household duties. She uses her gifts and the resources available to her. She is a picture of a hard worker who pursues excellence. She works with eager hands. She rises early to make sure that all of her household operates at the highest level of efficiency. She provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. Every aspect of the work day is done willingly, striving to carry out her work for the good of all. She has a financial plan or a budget that she carefully follows. Much time is spent in making purchases. Simply stated, she plans ahead, she uses her resources wisely, and she invests money wisely.
In verses 16-18, a godly person demonstrates wisdom in the use of resources and the needed skills for operating a business. People who are effective in business seek to maximize their essential resources, people, and capital. They plan and evaluate by determining if potential capital investments will bring success or will waste resources. Even with an excellent plan, they realize success will not come without long hours of hard work. If a person doesn’t take joy in their work and its successes, then their work will become drudgery and lose its meaning. No one should get so involved in their work that they lose focus of the real reason that they are doing work in the first place.
In verses 19-21, a godly person is industrious for the good of others. In Ephesians 4:28, Paul encourages doing something useful with the hands in order to share with those in need. One of the joys of working is to provide not only for our family but also to generously share the fruit of our work with others. An example of this generosity in an individual’s life is Dorcas. In the Book of Acts, Luke describes how she won the love of the poor women of Joppa by making garments for them. When Dorcas died, the widows wept as they showed the clothes that Dorcas had made for them while she was alive. Generosity in business is shown by generating sufficient revenue to pay bills and by compensating employees adequately. A godly person who is a strong leader will acknowledge the contributions of people in their organization, and will treat people with respect, fairness, and understanding.
A money management plan that will glorify God is very simple: give 10 percent or more of earnings to God, save 10 percent of earnings, and then enjoy the remaining 80 percent. That is good advice that will lead to a good life and one that glorifies God.