Do you know any ‘unsung heroes’? People who quietly and diligently persevere, make wise choices, have a positive influence, are joyful in the face of difficulty? I know a few. Some would call them ‘the salt of the earth’. I just looked up the meaning of that phrase and found the definition: ‘those of great worth and reliability’.
I started thinking about these kinds of people when I read a passage in the Bible (Proverbs 31: 10-31) about a woman who could be described in exactly that way: of great worth and reliability. She is someone who can work hard, loves and cares for those around her, uses what she has well and loves God. She is upheld in the passage as ‘more precious than rubies’. The passage has sometimes been wrongly used to pile pressure on women, but what it is actually aiming to do is to point out the great worth of faithfulness, character and wisdom in a person, and to encourage men in particular, not to overlook these qualities but to see them for what they are – more valuable than wealth or beauty, and to be prized and celebrated.
I think that sometimes we forget how treasured the people in our lives should be. We can find it especially easy to take for granted those we know to be wise and reliable. Do they know how precious they are?
Perhaps you are one of those people. Maybe you feel overlooked or uncared for? In his Bible study booklet Life Everyday, Jeff Lucas writes of Christians he meets around the country, who show faith in difficult circumstances. He says ‘Thank you for your faithful love for Christ today: whether you know it or not, your trust is making an impact in ways that heaven alone will reveal.’
Whether you are a Christian or not, perseverance and love for others are clearly qualities to be celebrated. Those of you who are these things should know that you are like rubies in a world of plain dull stones, and whether you are noticed or recognised or not, you can be assured of your great worth.