Who is Lydia, “The Woman of Purple”?

Lydia, a woman who is introduced in the bible in the book of Acts, chapter 16, is considered to be one of the first Christian converts in Europe by the Apostle Paul. Her name which is from Greek and Phonecian origin, has been interpreted at times to mean kind, kindred spirit. She is so significant in the Christian faith, some denominations has even sanctioned her as a saint, “St. Lydia” or “The Woman of Purple”, as she was commonly referred to as the dealer of purple.

Who is "Lydia", The Woman of Purple?
Lydia is commonly referred to as “St Lydia” or the “Woman of Purple”

7 Top Tips From the Business Woman of the Bible, Lydia, for Today’s Woman of God

By Consuelo Meux

Lydia was one of the most successful business women in the Bible. You will find her story in the Bible in Acts 16:14-15. According to Biblical records, Lydia was a business woman who dyed and sold purple cloth, a material used by the wealthy and elite of the day. This meant Lydia worked in a high-priced market with a high-end target market

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But Lydia was more than just a woman who sold luxury goods to the elite and the powerful. From all accounts it appears she was also the head of her household, an employer of others, and a woman of great Christian faith. She was the first European convert to Christianity and the first to establish a church in her home for other Christians. Fellowship times included examples of how to do business and worship as a part of a business woman’s day.

As a powerful woman of God, Lydia has much to offer today’s Christian business women. Here are seven valuable lessons for women of God from the Bible woman, Lydia.

1. Keep prayer in your daily activities. The bible story of Lydia says she met the Apostle Paul at a place of prayer. She also opened her home to have worship services for others. Keep your priorities in order as a woman of God. Remember to pray unceasingly about everything including your business activities by making prayer a priority activity on your daily schedule.

2. Work to please the Lord. Lydia took her responsibility as a Christian business woman to work “as unto the Lord” very seriously. You can show Christian beliefs through your nature and personality without being pushy or unprofessional. Show Biblical principles through your actions and decisions in your business.

3. Design a powerful company. Lydia was a no-nonsense business woman who built a major company in a wealthy market. Nothing says a woman of God has to play small in the business world. Christian business women should be open to working in all types of industries and not shy away from the potential of going big. If you are pursuing big dreams use Lydia as your role model for growth.

4. Try non-traditional opportunities. By being a successful and wealthy merchant of purple cloth Lydia was in a non-traditional business category during her times. Don’t shy away from embracing non-traditional business opportunities. Consider working in fields where few if any woman are already excelling and create new paths to success.

5. Find your balance between work and home. Lydia maintained her household even while running a powerful business. Each woman has to find the way to balance, keeping her home in order while running a business. It might mean downsizing or hiring help. Use your business skills to figure out what works for you to get it all done.

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6. Learn to grow your business. Lydia’s business was so successful that she had to hire employees. Growing a business means eventually needing to hire help. That help might come in the form of a part time assistants, independent contractors, freelancers or full-time employees. Start in the initial business planning stages to consider how and when you will start to hire help so you can expand your business operations. This creates jobs for others, increases the economy of your area and increases your status and influence as a business professional.

7. Know you can be prosperous. Lydia shows that successful Christian women can be highly prosperous. There’s no reason to fear money or to shy away from earning large amounts of money in business. The important key is to keep a check on your heart so money does not become your focus instead of God. Lydia was a business woman in the Bible who prospered while giving all glory to God.

Consuelo Meux, Ph.D., is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women in Business (NACWIB). Do you want to learn more about Bible women and what they have to share with women of God today? Then get my free 26 session ecourse “Business Women of the Bible” at http://www.nacwib.com. Get access to a complete Master Training System for Christian business professionals at the Training Grounds at http://www.nacwib.com/join

“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 named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who 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. Paul and Silas in Prison” – Acts 16: 13-15

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