“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
The great challenge is that the Christian community has not developed the core competencies, nor has it earned the credibility, to contribute to the operational elements of American society. Our presence and position in society is weak. The church is simply not on the cultural playing field in America in a way to make a significant difference.
The church has allowed secular institutions to dominate functional training and skill-building, which has contributed to the decay of American society. Without the wisdom and guidance of objective truth from the Creator, secular institutions operate on a philosophical foundation that rejects objective truth and morality. The result is competence without character, which is disastrous for our society.
The church needs to become a fully engaged skill-building community. That is, a true transformational community that equips the people of God to fully engage and be effective in the places where they do their daily work; that is, within the institutions that shape the culture of our society. Every church needs to ask itself: How are we equipping people with the skills they need to be effective in their jobs Monday through Friday?
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”
The godly woman is deeply respected by her husband and her children. So much so that they praise her even above other excellent women. She is unique. She stands out. She is distinctive.
Once again, this woman sets an example for us. We aren’t called to be average; we are called to be uncommon and distinctive in the way we live and work. We are to be God’s unique people in the world. Look again at the passage from the Sermon on the Mount that is quoted above. We are called to be a distinctive presence (Jesus uses the metaphor of salt and light) in the midst of a dark and decaying world. As a supernatural community of redeemed and transformed people, we are commissioned to be the living example of the kingdom of God.
In other words, we are called to excellence.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1)
May the Christian community rediscover and return to the Lord’s call to excellence. May we truly be salt and light. May we be distinctive in the way we live and work.