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The Virtuous Strength of a Woman

Sin exists far across times. While any specific sin birthed by the poor decisions of any specific person may have limited pleasures in fleeting moments of enjoyment, its destructive influence may impact incalculable scores of people across centuries. The simplest sin committed today grows in strength, deepens in depravity, and broadens in its scope so that what seems initially limited to a single person finds a heartbeat, arms, legs and a mind of its own in tomorrow’s society. This is because such a society will be born out of the generations that build their character upon the flawed contributions of each one that precedes it. A sin committed right now may persuade a brother or sister to sin. Worse, such sin may birth in someone else different kinds of sin, like resentment, unforgiveness, self-hatred, discontent, or unbelief. For instance, a spouse's single lie may produce resentment, which may produce quarrels, which may harden a heart, which may produce a divorce, which may change the way a child interacts with the world, which then may predispose the child (and his children) to a life marked by sins.

But virtue exists across times as well. While virtue may be difficult in temporal moments of discomfort, its light momentary afflictions bring to the person who displays it an incomparable and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). The simplest virtue expressed today grows in strength, ascends in goodness, and broadens in scope so that the virtue which seems initially limited to a single person who struggles in pain to express it, finds its way into the character of generations of people who imitate her choices.

And thankfully, the power of that virtue flowed in rivers from the strong woman of the bible. Consider the story of a merchant woman named Lydia (Acts 16:11-15). She was already a Jewish worshiper of God, but when she heard the gospel from Paul, her Lord opened her heart and she committed to it. After that, the bible says that her whole household was baptized. This certainly would have included her family, but since she was also a merchant, it may have included servants as well. She then invited Paul and his party to stay in her home as they preached throughout her area. Untold numbers of people throughout history owe their saving knowledge of Christ to the strength, influence and good sense of a woman named Lydia and the business and household she managed. Perhaps you are one of them.

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