Acts 5: 1 – 11 - Ananias and Sapphira
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
We know from Proverbs 12:22 that “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.” But how easy is it to make a story sound just a little bit more funny or exciting by adding some extra bits?
The story about Ananias and Sapphira is about a couple who cannot bear to give away everything they have because they do not trust God to take care of them if they do. But rather than tell the truth about it, they lied and said they had given all the money. We do not know if they felt ashamed of their lies, but we do know that God detests lies, and He killed them for it.
How often do we do this in our daily lives? How often do we make that goal we scored sound even more brilliant and even more skillful, to make ourselves look good? And how often do we say we’ve done our chores so we can go out to play, when we could have done a lot better, or helped out someone who needed it a lot more? How often do we put others before ourselves? How often do we tell a lie, and then feel bad about it right away? How often do we get caught out after we tell a lie?
Sometimes it is hard to stay honest, especially when we know we might disappoint the people we care about, but staying truthful is very important. We might not be killed for telling a lie these days, but we might lose our close relationships with our friends and family if we lie to them.
God does not stop loving us, even when we lie, but we know that he hates the lies we tell. He loves us as His children. He sees all we do and say, and He knows when we’re not telling the truth. It is difficult to keep loving a liar, but easy to love someone who tells the truth. Who do you want to be?