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. 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. 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
SLOTH CHARACTERISTIC 1: A worshiper of God
We know that Lydia was from Thyatira in the region of Lydia. It is even possible that Lydia was not her personal name, but that she was referred to as “The Lydian” like we could call someone from Texas “Tex.” Whether or not it was her personal name, the name Lydia means “bending.” She might have been flexible in the way she thought and responded. I just can’t help thinking, she might bend, but wouldn’t break.
The city where Lydia lived, Thyatira, was a melting pot of many nations. The region worshipped Apollo, but there was a strong Jewish contingency that lived in the city too. Though Lydia was originally from Asia Minor, scripture tells us she “was a worshipper of God” which would have meant the one Jewish God. It appears Lydia hung out with the Jews in her adopted city. Why?
To follow God, Lydia needed to learn the Jewish customs of that time. She needed to know exactly what she believed and how to live out her beliefs. Lydia learned these things from the Jews in her circle:
- to worship
- have daily prayer
- and fellowship with others.
In Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, chapter 10 tells us that the heart of worship is surrender. Lydia surrendered her heart and her own culture for the one true God of another culture. Like Lydia, we live in a similar situation. Our culture is complicated. We can surrender the complications of our culture for the One True God. We need to surrender our old attitudes and beliefs for God’s ways and then learn how to live out our new beliefs.
If we follow Lydia’s example as a SLOTH, we will spend time daily to worship, have daily prayer, and fellowship with others. We will surrender. We will know exactly what we believe.
Have you surrendered? Do you know what you believe? How do you incorporate worship, daily prayer and fellowship with others when you don’t have a mate that participates with you? Seriously, we all want to know the best ways to do this! Share something SLOTH-y!
Tomorrow we will look at another SLOTH characteristic of Lydia: Her success!
I am indebted to BibleGateway.com for their Women of the Bible eNewsletter which provided the historical data for this blog post. I highly recommend it!