16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
We teachers know as well as anyone that you don’t become a teacher for the money. Many of us take great pride in our choice to become teachers despite the small paychecks. In fact, we often use that small paycheck as a way to show others the sacrifice we make to be a teacher. Somehow we believe that if our sacrifice is large enough, others will be impressed.
First of all, let’s remember the woman Jesus used as an example of a great giver. She didn’t give the most money to the church; she gave what she had. Read more in Mark 12:41-43. Clearly the size of our sacrifice is not as important as our hearts when giving.
So what is wrong with being rich? Why do we have this idea that the most righteous are poor? Are they poor because they give all of their wealth away? Not according to the Proverbs 31 woman.
I have a student who likes to chat with me during recess. She is incredibly mature and chooses to not hang out with the other girls during free times in our schedule. Her parents are looking for a new house that would more than triple the square footage of their current home. She doesn’t come from a large family, but they have serious money. The house they are considering even has an indoor pool on the first floor! This child told me that she didn’t want to buy the huge house because others would think she was rich. I asked her why it was so important that others not know her family is wealthy. She replied that she didn’t want them to think she was unkind or snobby.
Afterwards I considered the Proverbs 31 woman. She clearly had wealth! Her business skills and hard-working attitude certainly brought in the big bucks for her family. She didn’t hide her wealth. She wore bright colored clothing, dressed her kids in the best cloth, and made her husband proud. Was she unkind or snobby? I bet not!
Money doesn’t make us bad people. We should not shy away from projects or jobs that will further our family’s financial status. We simply have to remember that each dime is granted to us by God. He can just as quickly take it away! With more wealth comes more responsibility to do God’s work.
I didn’t choose my career based upon the paycheck. However, I won’t shy away from opportunities to make money, especially if I can use that money for my family.