Lying – one of the first things we teach our children not to do. There are many motivations for lying – to avoid getting ourselves in trouble, so our transgressions are not exposed, to get what we want, to not get what we really deserve, etc. There are also reasons we justify as being good such as not to hurt someone’s feelings or not getting someone else in trouble, or that it really doesn’t affect anyone else. So what harm is there in a little lie? The story of Ananais and Sapphira is an example for us. The church of believers at that time was a strong church united in spirit. No one was in need for they took what they had and sold it to give to those who lacked. They weren’t forced to do this. They did it out of love for one another. Ananais and Sapphira witnessed Barnabas sell his property and turn the money over to the church to help the needy. So they decided to do the same. Their motivation was honorable. Only they kept back some of the proceeds of the sale for themselves. This was not their problem. They didn’t have to give all or even part of their money. It was their choice what to give. But upon giving it, possibly to make themselves look more generous, they claimed that it was the entire amount of the sale, lying not only to Peter, but more importantly to God. The price they paid for this little lie was severe. There really is no “harmless” lie because Satan is always the instigator of it. Honesty really is always the best policy!
1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died…… 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” 9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” 10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died… Acts 5:1-10 (NLT)
44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 (NLT)