A Generous Giver (Proverbs 31:20)

“She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
Proverbs 31:20

A Generous Giver (Proverbs 31:20)


The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a giver.

You know the term close-fisted? When it says “she opens her hand,” here in Proverbs 31:20, it’s the exact opposite imagery from a person who is “close-fisted.” The things that are in her hands (and remember the other verses we’ve discussed? Her hands are full and fruitful.) are openly held, available, free to be given to the poor.

One of my prayers for our family is that we would hold things loosely. Things are just *things.* But people? God means for us to be open to people. Things should always be subservient to people. While we are to be good stewards with the things God gives us, when we start valuing possessions over people, I believe we’ve moved into sin.

  • Is your hand open to the poor? 
  • Are you willing to sacrificially give from what you have? 
  • Do you value giving to people who need it, over keeping the stuff that you have?

It doesn’t stop there though. Her hands aren’t just “open” to the poor; she actually “reaches out” to the needy. Those who are needy don’t have to come and find her and articulate their needs with perfect clarity. Her heart is for them. Her arms are reaching out toward them.

She actually reaches out, in the midst of her own busy goings-on, to help others. It’s not that she has no needs, or that she’s arrived. No, we all know (or we should!) that that season of ease and perfection never comes. This is a woman who is able to look beyond herself and focus on others. She is not rendered useless to others by an unhealthy focus on her own problems. Instead, by involving herself in the hurts and needs of others, her own issues come into perspective.

The wounds of her heart, and the demands on her schedule, no longer eclipse the real-life problems of others. 

I can think of a number of godly women I know who do this. They bring meals to the sick. They helped me pack up our home in Texas. They freely offer their prayers and encouragement. They give of themselves. Their time, their money, their home, their belongings, are open to serving others. It’s not that they themselves have no problems; it’s that they truly care about others and reach out to help those who are in need.

  • Do you reach out to help others?
  • Is your eye tuned toward your own hurts or toward those who are hurting and needy around you?
  • Are you committed to caring for the wounded parts of your local church Body?

A Generous Giver (Proverbs 31:20)CONSIDER:

  • Are your hands “open to the poor,” or are you close-fisted with your possessions?
  • Do you willingly reach out to find and give to those who are in need?


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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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4 Responses

  1. Bethany says:

    I love this. I think one of the best ways to quit wallowing in your own junk, which may be very legitimate junk worth wallowing a bit over, is to do something for others. Giving is so awesome, and it doesn’t have to be money. Time, money, food, work, or other resources … it’s all a blessing to give, even more when you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of generosity. :)

    • Jess Connell says:

      Great point, Bethany– I’ve definitely found that to be true, too, that by focusing on others, my own problems diminish and God brings perspective and JOY.

      • Bethany says:

        Yeah, that “look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others” things as some merit. :) In my humanness, though, I find it much easier to look out for some people’s interests than others.

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