In Acts 16 today, Paul and Luke find themselves in the city of Thyatira, where they meet a woman named Lydia. More on that encounter in a moment. In the Gospel from John 15, Jesus talks about sending the Advocate, the Spirit of truth. He says, “I have told you this so that you may not fall away.” Even with the coming persecutions, the Holy Spirit would keep them strong.
Lydia was “a worshiper of God.” As she listened to Paul, “the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.” What an interesting concept, this notion of the Lord opening her heart. Of course, the Lord is God, so He can always open our hearts. But don’t we play a part in all this, too? I think the key here comes from what Lydia was doing just before the Lord opened her heart. She was listening.
How wonderful it would be if more people in the world were better listeners. I think this is a skill that is all but lost these days. We are all so hell-bent on being heard that we seldom listen. But I believe that God rarely opens our hearts when we’re talking. It is only when we are listening that we become open to hearing God. That’s when the real heart-opening can really take place. Have you ever heard the old axiom: God gave us two ears and one mouth and He wants us to use them in those proportions. How true.
Father, help us today to be better listeners. Help us to listen to one another, listen to your Word and allow you to open our hearts today. Amen.