My dear fellow Proverbs 31 women in progress,
Have you heard all your life that rich people couldn’t believe in God?
Do you think that you can’t be an ambitious woman and please the Lord?
Well, if you are in these cases, let me tell you that Lydia’s story will change your perspective. You’ll see that God calls people everywhere and from every social condition.
Let’s examine Lydia’s story in details.
Meaning: her name relates to the Kingdom of Lydia, located in what is near Izmir, Turkey
Family: the Bible doesn’t give details but we know she did have a family because they were all baptized with her.
Her qualities: energetic, hospitable, persuasive, faithful and open-minded
Motsly known for: being a affluent purple merchant who convert to Christianity and welcoming Paul, Silas and Timothy in her house
Lived during the New Testament Times (Book of Acts 16)
Since Paul was called to evangelize the Gentiles by the Lord, he travelled all around the Roman Empire to proclaim the Gospel and salvation through Jesus Christ.
At a moment he arrived in Troas, he had a vision during his sleep where he saw a Macedonian man begging him to come to Macedonia and to save them.
Therefore, he wanted to head to Macedonia to announce the good news of the Gospel. They finally arrived in Philippi and stayed there for some days. During the Sabbath day, they came to the place where prayer was made, according to the customs of the believers who reside there.
Paul and his companions started talking to the women who were present and preached the Gospel. Among these women was a purple merchant named Lydia of Thyatira. While she was listening to Paul, the Lord opened her heart and she was deeply touched by the message of the Gospel.
She and her household were immediately baptized afterwards, and she begged Paul, Silas and Timothy to stay at her place. And she managed to persuade them to stay there!
- Lydia was a purple merchant. Purple was a very luxurious fabric which was mainly worn by royal and aristocratic families. By today’s standards, she would be an entrepreneur in the luxury business. And it means that she was rich!
- Lydia is the first documented European Christian convert. So, if Christianity exists in Europe today, they can thank Lydia of Thyatira!
- And this last point is just some speculation of my own. It seems that Lydia was destined to be rich. First, her name refers to the Kingdom of Lydia, whose people invented money as we know it as they were the first to use gold and silver coins in business exchanges. Also, the Kingdom of Lydia is known for one of his kings named Croesus who was so rich that he left the expression “rich as Croesus” in the common language.
What we can learn from Lydia
Though Lydia’s life is not very well documented, she still can be a great source of inspiration for Christian women, especially those who want to strive to have their own business and want to be successful.
Indeed, as a purple merchant, she mastered the art of sales and negotiation, and she probably carried out her trade at an international level. If you are a Christian woman who wants to be a successful entrepreneur, look up to Lydia. Yes, she was rich. Yes, she was an entrepreneur. But she accepted the Truth of the Gospel and she lived a Christian life.
This should be a great revelation for us. We can be striving ambitious women and still lead Christian lives. We just have to never forget our priorities and put God first in everything we do in our lives.
Also, the story of Lydia shows that the Lord can touch people from all nationalities and all social conditions. Just like Rahab or Ruth, Lydia was a non-Jew who believed in God and welcomed His message of salvation. God des not care about your skin color, your social status or your family origins. When He calls you and that you are willing to follow His ways, he will welcome you.
Finally, Lydia’s story reminds us that we have blessings from the Lord when we are hospitable and that we have to entertain strangers:
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. – Hebrews 13:2
Well, that’s all for Lydia’s life lessons! What do you think we can learn from her story? Please share your points of view in the comments below!
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