TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge,
and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 5:1-2 (NLT)
A 12-year-old boy was waiting for his first orthodontist appointment and was a bit nervous. Apparently he wanted to impress the dentist. On the patient questionnaire, in the space marked “Hobbies,” he had written, “Swimming and flossing.” That’s a humorous example of how we’re all prone to hypocrisy. But spiritual hypocrisy is not humorous; it’s a dangerous and deadly sin. (Reader’s Digest)
The first word “but,” in Acts 5:1, presents a clear and dramatic contrast between the positive example of Barnabas in Acts 4 and the negative example of Ananias. Barnabas sold a field and gave all the proceeds to God. Ananias sold a field and pretended to give all the proceeds to God. The name Barnabas means “Son of Encouragement.” The name Anania means “Jehovah is Gracious.” Barnabas lived up to his name, while Ananias did not live up to his name and died as a result! Barnabas is an example of sincere giving and Ananias and Sapphira an example of hypocritical religion. Ananias wanted to look like Barnabas but he didn’t want to live like Barnabas.
Being a Christian isn’t about how we present ourselves to others. Our spiritual walk is about first giving our heart to God. Jesus’ strongest words of rebuke were to religious hypocrites. What areas of your spiritual walk are you tempted to present yourself better to others than you actually are?
God already knows the real you. God loves the real you. Thank God for His love. Ask God for truth and sincerity in your giving and worship.