Proverbs 31 Part 2: “Influencer”!
Go back over the “qualities list” you made in our last study on Proverbs 31, or if you did not complete last month’s study, read Proverbs 31 and note down a list of qualities that stand out to you, or underline words in the chapter in your Bible.
Ask the Lord to speak to you to highlight gently any qualities you are lacking or may have lost, as these current times have taken their wear and tear on us all. We will begin in repentance and prayer for a time of refreshment. Take some time to speak to the Lord about any fresh start you might want in these areas.
[If studying with others, take a short time for silent prayer before continuing.]
Re-read verses 20, 23, 26, 28.
Consider the Proverbs 31 woman as a woman of influence. In modern day terms we might describe her as an “influencer”. Over whom does she have a wise influence?
Now prayerfully look over the “qualities list” again. This time ask the Lord how you can share with others the gifts and qualities that speak to you as being something you have to oﬀer.
Maybe blogging or Instagram aren’t the “Proverbs 31 influencer style”, but perhaps we ought to widen our own influence with the gifts the Lord is putting on our hearts to share. Going back to the thought that the “Proverbs 31 Woman” isn’t a woman at all but is “Lady Wisdom” as personified in the Book of Proverbs. Shouldn’t wisdom be the influence of all of us, through the power of the Holy Spirit?
Read 2 Timothy 1:5
Who were Timothy’s teachers?
How many generations have brought Timothy to faith and ministry at his young age?
Think of the gathering pace of that influence of Lois and Eunice. Have you heard of the “butterfly eﬀect” metaphor in chaos theory? For the purposes of our study, it is simply necessary to note that this is a theory that small and seemingly insignificant actions can lead to significant results or changes over time. Perhaps Lois and Eunice had no idea where Timothy was headed. They may not even both have lived to see him begin his ministry. Nevertheless, their own ministry and discipleship of Timothy continues to have a massive impact, even in our lives today.
[For further study: Read both of the Timothy epistles. As you read, remember who taught him the faith, as well as noting what wisdom the Word imparts to you.]
Read Titus 2
There is also much women’s ministry focus on the “Titus 2 Woman”. What qualities can we find her to have here?
For the purposes of our study here, as we did with Proverbs 31, we broaden this study to the concept of mentorship, not just of younger wives by older women. Let us think about all those around us who can fit into this picture, this “teaching of the faith”. In both letters of Paul, we have references to more experienced believers teaching and mentoring younger believers – male and female.
Think about how we often group members together in our churches. We often go for “interest groups” that segregate by age and life stage – and are not always inclusive. How does this sit with Paul’s vision for fellowship and discipleship?
Think back to the generations of women who mentored Timothy and consider the future of our own “next generations” in church, community, and society.
What future generations may be impacted if we embrace the concept of mentorship?
Are we raising the leaders of the next generation, or the one of three generations after that?
With these things in mind:
Where do you yourself sit in Paul’s multi-generational picture?
Can you trace the “family tree” of Godly influence and discipleship that has brought you to faith at this point? How many generations are involved?
Do you have opportunities to “mentor up” and “mentor down”?
Share any personal stories with others if you are taking part in a family or group Bible study.
Pray for the Lord to show you who you might begin to share some of the gifts and talents we have considered in these two studies on Proverbs 31.
Who can you influence?
Who might you approach or spend time with to “brush up” on some of the qualities or skills you felt were work areas?
As we rethink how we can spend time with others in this COVID-stricken world, consider what means of community and communication are available to you right now to serve and worship in these ways. Don’t put it oﬀ or leave it to someone else, or until our circumstances change. Don’t wait for a program organised by someone else. We can all be men and women of influence, regardless of our age and life stage.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for the examples you set before us in the women we have studied today. Help us all, whatever our demographic, to be influenced by these godly women, as we continue to grow to be who you made us to be. At the same time as we continue our walk with you, may we pay attention to those around us. Help us to remember we are always ambassadors for you and have many opportunities to be role models and mentors to others, perhaps others very diﬀerent from ourselves in age and life stage. May we remember that the influence and opportunities we may have now in very small ways, can gather pace, and be magnified in your kingdom in the next generation and the ones after that. We are all part of your plan. We have a small role to play but we cannot comprehend the magnitude of what you are doing around us, and through us. Show me today who I can mentor, who I can influence, and where I need people to be these things for me – I pray for you to provide for me also. In Jesus’ name. Amen.