God Demands Complete Honesty

In Acts 4-5, God gives us a sobering example of how He views dishonesty (Acts 4:32-5:11). Some Christians had sold their land and shared all the proceeds with the church. Ananias and Sapphira decided to do likewise, but they kept some of the money back despite their declaration that they had given the whole amount (Acts 5:8). Expecting commendation, they were struck dead instead (Acts 5:5; Acts 5:9-10).

We might ask, “Was their punishment too harsh?” After all, their little white lie wasn’t life-threatening to anyone. The Proverb writer warns us: “Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain” (Proverbs 25:14). The Proverb writer is saying that an individual who goes about making rash promises which he never intends on keeping, is like the promise of rain in clouds and wind without any rain falling.

Thus, the apostle Peter asked Ananias: “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? …..You have not lied to men, but to God” (Acts 5:3-4). If we are completely honest with ourselves, we must be completely honest before God. This is exactly why our Lord tells us to: “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Beloved, a Christian’s word should be his contract — no formal written contract being necessary.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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