Updated: Apr 29, 2020
How minding "your business" can help change the world.
I must admit that despite my numerous biblical character studies, Lydia never sparked my interest. I am sure it was because I considered her to be nothing more than a new convert who was very grateful that the Apostle Paul's message saved her life. And since I was well past "the baby Christian stage" I devoted my time to women like Queen Esther who was tasked to save her people or Sarah the mother of our faith. It took a personal prophecy spoken by one of my graduate professors to remind me, "Don't sleep on Lydia!"
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. (Acts 16:14)
Without going into full Bible study mode, I need to address Lydia's story with one thing in mind, "God does not only bless one way." Keeping that in mind, we see how the Apostle Paul changed Lydia's world but Lydia helped to change THE WORLD because Lydia was an "Influencer."
In modern-day terms, an influencer is someone in your niche or industry with sway over your target audience. Influencers have specialized knowledge, authority or insight into a specific subject.
Types of influencer
Despite the word becoming mainstream due to social media, influencers have a long history in marketing. Companies use compelling figures like celebrities and athletes to help sell their products through television, social media, and radio ads. Today, influencers fit into the following categories:
Celebrities: Artists, athletes, and pop culture stars.
Industry experts and thought leaders
Micro-influencers: Individuals with an impact on social media
Bloggers and content creators
Minding Your Business
Indeed Lydia was a businesswoman who sold luxury textiles dyed purple. The expenses involved in her occupation as a merchant of luxury textiles indicate she was a woman of some wealth. Her home was also large enough to hold church meetings. It was in Lydia’s home that the church at Philippi first gathered (Acts 16:40).
seller of purple) and I love the fact that God uses her business trip for a ministry opportunity.
Lydia was seeking God.
She was not a Jew. Yet, the Bible says Lydia worshipped God so she must have been seeking the truth like a lot of Gentiles were at that time.
Lydia's heart was opened by God.
The Bible says she "heard us." God put Paul in the right place at the right time. God opened Lydia's heart to receive the truth that she was seeking.
Lydia used her influence wisely.
Verse fifteen tells us that she "constrained" them. She persuaded or compelled them. She was offering them her hospitality. It was not unusual for Paul and anyone traveling with him to be put up at the home of one of their converts or some of the believers. He readily accepted her gracious invitation. We learn from verse forty that after Paul and Silas were let out of prison, it was to Lydia's house that they returned.
Women such as Lydia were not silent in the churches or ineffective in evangelism. They cared for local congregations and were vital and strategic players at the forefront of the expanding Christian mission. A church was established in Philippi because of Lydia’s open heart and her open home, and it grew because of her patronage, her initiative, her courage, her ministry.
How about you?
The bulk of influence today occurs in social media. The funny part of this is that these people with millions of followers started out simply by doing what they love--consistently.
Lydia was on a business trip, still seeking God but still living her life. Words cannot express how much I love the fact that God included her business adventures to place her on the road to her destiny.
If you are one of the ones whom God has given a detailed map to your destiny I must admit I am jealous but I am truly happy for you. However, if you are still searching yes keep praying, but please, please, please keep doing what you love. Anyone can be an influencer. Influencers are the people who you know and who you can relate to not necessarily someone with an enormous following.
Jesus did not start out with an enormous following so don't let that stop you from being about your Father's business.
Why don't you start right now...I am looking for guest bloggers and I would love to hear/read what God wants you to say.