Lydia, like many of the women in The Bible, has a short story. Although it’s short, there are some life lessons we can learn from it. If you don’t know who Lydia is, her story is found in Acts 16:13-15. Since it’s just 3 verses long, I’ll include it here.
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.Acts 16:13-15 (NIV)
So what life lessons Lydia in The Bible teaches us? Lydia teaches us to have an open heart, position yourself for opportunities, and be a person worth listening to.
Have An Open Heart
The first and arguably most important life lesson from Lydia is to have an open heart. Referring to Lydia, in Acts 16:14 it says “as she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying” (NIV).
Following that, The Bible says Lydia “and her household were baptized” (Act 16:15). In other words, her open heart led her and her household to receive the gospel. By reading this article, chances are at one point you had an open heart to receive the gospel and like Lydia and her household were later baptized. But having an open heart shouldn’t stop there.
Continuing To Have An Open Heart
Although we may have had an open heart when we received the good news, our hearts could become hardened. We may become resistant to ideas that contradict our experiences or personal beliefs causing us to miss out on more in life. Lydia was already in a place where people prayed and she was described as a worshiper of God (Acts 16:13-14). If she reasoned that she already knew all she needed to know about God, she and her household would have missed out on the gospel.
Learning from Lydia who continued to have an open heart, we should continue to be open to any information that can make our lives better. The Bible, which I believe has the greatest life lessons, is the primary source we should continue to be open to. When reading something from The Bible that contradicts our personal beliefs or experiences, we should have an open heart and trust what it says.
Oh Taste and See
We all have a story of when we ignored something but later found it valuable. After finally trying it, we said something like “I wish I had done this earlier”. For me, it was once pickles. When I got pickles as a part of my school lunch, I would quickly give them away because they looked strange. One day I decided to try them and fell so much in love with them that I started asking everyone else for theirs.
Through Lydia’s story, we are reminded to continually have an open heart. In addition to the gospel, The Bible has so much more we can learn and we shouldn’t have a closed heart to other sources of good information neither.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.Psalms 34:8 KJV
Position Yourself For Opportunities
The next life lesson we can learn from Lydia is to position yourself for opportunities. If Lydia wasn’t at the place of prayer when Paul and Silas came there she wouldn’t have heard Paul’s message. If she didn’t hear his message, she would not be able to respond to it, and she and her household would not be baptized.
There is a chance Lydia would have heard Paul’s message at some other time if she wasn’t at the river with the other women. But her being there increased her chances because The Bible says Paul and Silas went where they “thought people would be meeting for prayer” (Acts 16:13 NLT).
Just like Lydia was in a place that Paul and Silas were looking for, we can put ourselves in a position where the opportunities we desire are likely to come knocking. For Lydia, it was a physical environment of prayer that the apostles physically went to. So from a physical standpoint, where can you spend most of your time to position yourself for the opportunities you desire?
Positioning Yourself In Other Ways
Positioning yourself for opportunities goes beyond physical positioning. Lydia was not only in the right place physically, but also spiritually. Her heart was in the right place to accept Paul’s message. Similarly, we can position ourselves academically, intellectually, professionally, etc to be able to take advantage of opportunities. Just like Paul and Silas were looking for where they thought people would be meeting for prayer, there are people out there looking for people with the right qualifications, attitude, or background for certain opportunities.
So whenever you are seeking a certain opportunity, remember Lydia and position yourself as best you can. She was in the right place at the right time both physically and spiritually. As a quick example of missed opportunity due to insufficient positioning, the Israelites were in the right place physically but not spiritually. Although on the cusp of inheriting the promised land, fear kept them back.
Be A Person Worth Listening To
Lydia was a person worth listening to. From her story, we see that she was able to influence both her household and the apostles.
In regards to her household, The Bible in Acts 16:14 says that she was one of the women listening to Paul’s message. In the next verse, it says she and her household were baptized. This suggests that she shared what she heard with her household and since they were baptized along with her, they accepted what she said.
As for influencing the apostles, in Acts 16:15 she asked them “If you consider me a believer in the Lord…come and stay at my house” (NIV). The apostles were persuaded confirming that they considered her a believer in the Lord.
Since she was a person worth listening to, Lydia influenced both the people that were familiar with her (her household) and strangers (the apostles). Like her, becoming a person worth listening to will help you do the same.
Lydia’s Reputations Made Her Worth Listening To
The Bible doesn’t say much about who Lydia was. From the little it does say, we can get a good idea of what made her worth listening to.
The Bible in Acts 16:14 says that Lydia was a dealer in purple cloth and a worshipper of God. As a dealer of purple cloth, it suggests that she owned her own business selling a luxurious product. In addition to that, being a worshiper of God means she was God-fearing. Being successful and God-fearing made her stand out and in turn made her influential.
So to become a person worth listening to, we must develop a reputation for something good. The greater that reputation the more influential we’ll be. The more influential we are, the more we’ll be worth listening to.
This is the reason why popular athletes and artists are appearing in commercials. People respect them and listen to their recommendations because they are successful. Because of her reputation, Lydia was able to influence her household and the apostles. If we become people worth listening to like Lydia, we’ll be able to influence those around us for the better as well.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.Proverbs 22:1 NIV
In this article, we looked at 3 life lessons from Lydia in The Bible. The lessons were to have an open heart, position yourself for opportunities, and be a person worth listening to. I hope you found them valuable. God bless!