Keeping Some Aside

Read: Acts 5:1-11

You have not lied to man but to God. (v. 4)

The story of Ananias and Sapphira is, frankly, terrifying. It’s difficult to grapple with the idea of a God who would strike people dead.

Peter was clear about this couple’s offense—it’s not the fact that they kept some of the money from the sale of their land aside for themselves. The difficulty was that they kept some aside while pretending that they were giving it all to the church. In a way, they represent the opposite of the widow that Jesus commended, who quietly gave her last two coins to the temple (Luke 21:1-4). Ananias and Sapphira were giving only part of what they had, but with great show, hoping to get the credit of going “all in.” In short, they faked generosity.

This story warns that there are certain things that are death-dealing to us—things that will keep us from experiencing the full life that the resurrection has to offer. One of these “ways of death” is to lie to ourselves or others about what we are offering. The desire to seem to be giving our all to God, but secretly holding something back, is a death-dealing deceit rather than a life- giving truth. It shows that we care more about how we appear than how we are, and don’t mind fooling ourselves, others, and God to achieve a certain status.

Today with Ananias and Sapphira, we learn that we need to take our behavior as believers seriously and honestly. —Amy Curran

As you pray, ask God to reveal ways you may be deceiving yourself.

About the Author

Amy Curran is a gardener, a reader, a runner, and an avid coffee drinker. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, where she runs a community garden and a farm-to-table café for Reality Ministries.

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