If Lydia of Philippi, the amazing working woman celebrated in Act 16, had a LinkedIn profile, it might look something like this:
CEO of Luxury Textiles.
- Manufacturing luxury purple dye and cloth for the 1st century’s elite.
- Philippi, Macedonia, Europe.
- First Christian in Europe
- Cofounder, host, and benefactor of the Philippian church
- Exporter/importer of luxury trade goods
- Textiles manufacturer
- Certificate of conversion and baptism through the apostle Paul.
- Hosted weekly prayer meetings
- Cofounded first European Christian church
- Polished chapter director in Philippi
Skills and Endorsements
- Effective church planter — the apostle Paul
- Persuasive business leader — Timothy
- Influential businesswoman
Lydia’s story takes up only a few verses in the book of Acts, but she’s a biblical example of a godly woman working boldly in all her spheres of influence. A city girl through and through, Lydia hailed from Thyatira (modern-day Turkey), which specialized in producing purple dye and purple cloth, luxurious textiles for the elite and nobles of the time. Think Hermès, Prada, Gucci.
Working in the trade of luxury goods, Lydia was a successful and independent businesswoman, and as a result, wealthy. Although it’s common for women to own homes in our day and age, it would have been extremely rare in Lydia’s culture. Apparently, her home was large enough for her own family, potentially her employees, and room to spare to host the Philippian church and the four visiting preachers who shared the Gospel with her.
In addition, Lydia had the economic means to bulk-purchase her wares and ensure they were transported from Thyatira to Philippi, where they were sold. Lydia was either an exporter-importer of purple cloth and dye or the sales rep for her own brand placed in Philippi.
We don’t know if Lydia was divorced or widowed when she arrived in Philippi, but some scholars contend she was a single mom with multiple children. We see you, single moms! It appears she was married at one time but was no longer married when the apostle Paul, Dr. Luke, Timothy, and Silas met her in Acts 16. When she placed her faith in Jesus, she began working in Christ’s mission in the world.
Originally posted here.