TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount.
With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.
Acts 5:2 (NLT)
THE DANGER OF GREED
A dog was carrying a bone as he crossed a bridge. He looked into the water and saw his own reflection. He took this to be another dog and another bone. He desperately wanted the other bone so he dropped the one he had to scare the “other dog.” Of course there was no other bone and he lost the one he had into the water. Such is the nature of human greed. In the effort to get what we want, we frequently lose what we have. (Lou Nicholes).
Perhaps the praise Barnabas received was too much for Ananias, but he was not willing to turn over all. He wanted praise for giving all and yet he took care of himself by keeping some. Ananias isn’t criticized for keeping some for himself, but most likely there was a heart of greed that was part of the problem. Greed is an insatiable and excessive desire to have more and thinks nothing of using another person or another’s property to gain its own ends. Ananias was greedy for more praise and greedy for more money.
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:5, “You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.” Paul didn’t use fancy talk to pretend to be something he wasn’t or in order to get more from the church at Thessalonica. He was sincere. Greed makes it hard for us to be sincere. In what ways do you struggle with greed? Ask God to show you how that might be affecting your sincerity with others.
The cure for greed is gratitude. Praise God for the promises of Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”