Spiritual Leaders Of The Home (SLOTH) 101

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 6:  Persuasive

Lydia persuaded Paul and his team.  It was a characteristic that she needed in her profession.  It was a characteristic that she cultivated well in her secular roles and then used later in a community of believers.  The benchmark of her belief was in convincing Paul to stay at her home.  We touched on this in an earlier blog post, but in the Jewish culture of Lydia’s time, she would normally have had to ask the man in her life for permission to make such a bold invitation.  We don’t know if Lydia had a man, was spiritually single, divorced or was a widow.  What we know is that she used her power of persuasion to do good things.

I think that is very SLOTH-y.  Our culture does not nurture persuasion as a virtue.  We see a lack of compromise on so many issues by so many factions, on so many levels that we are experiencing culture wars.  Politics, gender, faith and age are all lightning rods today.  We Christians can be the worst of persuasive people!  We have the best deal going and most of us can’t get beyond our religion to listen, understand and effectively persuade someone to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’ or consider another point of view.  Do we truly hear one another?  Others?

One of the definitions Webster uses for persuasion is:

an opinion held with complete assurance

Do you know what you hold in complete assurance?  Can you convey that to another in love when you are called upon?  We cannot afford to bluff.  We cannot afford to abdicate our family leadership or even wait till hubby comes along. Our kids are watching.  Our husbands are watching.  Our social circles are watching.

Just in case it is not obvious to you, SLOTHs are not necessarily church ladies.  We often run in secular circles with others who may not have the courage to step inside a church and ask a professional a spiritual question.  As SLOTHs, we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ, always on duty in the gray places where darkness abuts light.

How do you cultivate your powers of persuasion for your kids in those teachable moments? Your husband in those conversations where God enters the discussion?  Your friends or family in those circumstances where only prayer will help?