May 17

Written by Bill Grandi on May 17th, 2023

I’m continuing my series of posts on the ladies spoken about on Mother’s Day by several of our ladies.

Lady #1- Mary of Bethany

Lady #2- Tamar

Lady #3- Sarah

Today is Lady #4: Lydia

What is it like to be successful? Further even: what is it like to be successful as a woman in a male-dominated society?

Hmmm. We could ask Lydia…if she was alive.  🙂 In Acts 16 we read of a woman named Lydia, a seller of purple goods (v.14).  Industrious. Hard worker. A worshiper of God. Just being a seller of purple goods was enough to show her success. She also had servants. She had a house. She opened her home to Paul and Silas. After their release from the Philippian jail, they stopped at Lydia’s house on the way out of town to see her and the others who met at her house.

It takes a lot to be successful. Sure, there are those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but not for a women, especially in that day.  Lydia had to be industrious. She had to be innovative. She had to be unafraid. What is interesting to me is that she actually operated with a double whammy: she was female and a worshiper of God. One was bad enough, but with both of those “on her record”?  Man or woman being a worshiper of God often meant isolation and loss of income.

One thing she cannot be accused of is being lazy. The Bible calls it sloth. Think of a sloth and the first thing which comes to mind is the animal that does everything in slow motion…very slow motion. But consider this: sloth doesn’t just mean sitting around all day watching TV and eating junk food.  It also means indifference. Apathy. It’s like standing on a street corner and watching all things go by and not giving a rip.

We have too much of that going on in our society these days. If it doesn’t affect me and my circle, why should I care? An earthquake in Turkey or California? A tornado in Oklahoma or Texas? (Big difference when one lands in your own “back yard” as it did here less than 2 months ago). A flood in TN. A shooting in NYC (and elsewhere).  If it doesn’t affect me it is “out of sight out of mind.”

It is too easy to get apathetic when it doesn’t involve us or people we love. Lydia shows us the importance of hard work. Her concern for others and their spiritual lives (see in Acts 16:15), and her concern for Paul and Silas show us how important it is not to be self-consumed. Let’s not forget who we are and how to serve others.

Then we must might learn what true success is all about.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ed says:

    You hit my nail on it’s head on this one! I’m looking at the clutter on my desk desktop and thinking “What is wrong with this picture?” Of course it carries over to both our spiritual and physical lives. Thanks for the kick in the you know what! 😉

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You’re welcome (I think) Ed. I’d say start with Mary of Bethany. 🙂

  2. Ryan S says:

    Success is a difficult measure. Whose measure do we use? I think society is confused what true success is. I frequently have conversations with guys who think that the almighty dollar and a 60, 70, or even 80 hour work week to get that OT is what is going to make them successful. In reality, their time spent away from home and family has created a hole that only they can really fill. To seek success in the worlds eyes means sacrificing success in God’s eyes. Notice the difference… seeking success in the worlds eyes. When Our focus is the world, and our target is “THAT” bullseye… we can only hit that bullseye. However, God can and often does allow success to happen on both fronts if our bullseye lines up with His.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Without a doubt you are correct Ryan. We have way to many who think of success as “I have it made” by our business or our busyness. I pray that my priorities stay in line and when they get whacked that God lovingly says, “Hey Bill. Get in line.”

  3. Pam Williams says:

    This was an interesting series, Bill! Love the input from the various women and the lessons learned from the dedicated women of the Bible.

  4. Lydia’s life should be an inspiration to all of us as Christians. May we all model her service, dedication and gumption.
    Blessings, Bill!

  5. gail says:

    One of Lydia’s super powers was that she listed to God, she didn’t question His choice with the culture’s possible outcomes for following God. Guess what, all of us who are saved have the same super power. Who do you want to listen to, an unchanging God whose promises are never broken, or the culture that will flip flop at any given moment. God has us, He will take care of us, He promised. Romans 11:33-36

    • Bill Grandi says:

      As you know Gail, since she was your “lady” she did just that. Listening to God is always the right thing to do.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Lydia sure exemplifies what a Proverbs 31 woman looks like. Such a shinging example for us all! God bless you, Pastor Bill.