Insight: Must Two Similar Personalities Always Lead to Conflict?

Build Ministry by Using Similar Strengths

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

“We’re too much alike to work together.” You’ve heard it before at work or at home. But is it true?

God used two assertive individuals – gifted with a similar strength – to plant a church at the gateway to Europe.

tension between two people

Image: Miss Literati

Paul visited Philippi on his second missionary journey. Philippi, located in modern-day Greece, was built on the Egnatian Way, the main east-west trade route linking the Roman colonies. Together with his partner Silas, Paul met with a group of women outside Philippi’s gate along the river. There they encountered Lydia.

Sparks flew.

Lydia was a successful businesswoman. Though from Thyatira (more than 200 miles away), evidently she had settled in Philippi and made a prosperous living as a cloth dealer – specifically purple cloth, a color associated with the upper classes. Her success would have been unusual in Bible times, as women normally did not manage business affairs.  “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message,” (Acts 16:14, NIV) and she was baptized.

Here’s an Insight

God used both Paul and Lydia to build His church at Philippi.

Lydia’s Assertiveness Built the Church in Practical Ways

After her conversion, Lydia “urged” and “prevailed” Paul and Silas to stay at her home. Translated, Lydia was pushy. The men resisted. But Lydia’s determined insistence persuaded them to accept her hospitality.

Lydia assertiveness positioned her to provide infrastructure for the new church. Her home became an operational base for the new church at Philippi.

Paul’s Assertiveness Built the Church Numerically

Meanwhile, the fledging church at Philippi encountered resistance. Paul and Silas performed an exorcism upon a young local slave girl. Her owners, fearing the loss of their income from her fortune-telling services, had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten, and jailed, saying, “These men are throwing our city into an uproar!” (Acts 16:20, NIV). But the imprisonment turned into a worship service. Paul and Silas led the jailer and his household to Christ, adding to the number of believers at Philippi.

Paul’s assertiveness allowed him to share the Good News to build the church numerically.

Similar Strengths Work Together in Different Ways

Where did Paul and Silas go after they were released from jail? To home base – Lydia’s house. Soon afterwards, the two men departed from Philippi. Paul would not return for five years. But they had left the little band of believers in well-resourced hands.

When similar personalities collide, you may fear that a ministry will suffer. But God can use the same strength placed in different individuals to build His church, drawing upon different resources.

Now How Shall I Live?

Consider a person in your work, home, or ministry that shares a specific strength with you. How does or can God use that strength in different ways to build His Kingdom?

Discover your strengths when you take the Leading From Your Strengths profile.

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Changing Your Heart Means Giving God Access

Using Your Hands Means More than “Just Do It”

Strengths Are Given In the Image of God