Have you ever told a “little white lie” and thought that it wouldn't harm anybody or that no one would find out? Sometimes we think that because we can’t see a lie causing harm, it won’t. But as the story we read today in Acts 5 indicates, sin separates us from God (see Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”)
Ananias and his wife Sapphira both lied to the apostles about the amount of money they were donating. They said they had sold their property and were giving all of the proceeds to the church. Most of that statement was true, but one little word, with a big connotation—“ALL”— was false. A lot of times that’s how we lie isn’t it? It usually isn’t blatant. We twist our words or use phrases that have certain nuances that make them untrue. (I know that’s how I lie, because it makes me feel better about lying in the first place L lol)
Why do we lie? Usually it is for selfish reasons. We want to have a certain image, we don’t want to be embarrassed, we don’t want to confront a problem…superficial things. In this case I think Ananias and Sapphira lied to make themselves seem more “holy.” Not holy in the actual sense as in their devotion and service to God, but holy in the worldly sense, as in one of those Christians that seeeeems to always do the right things (you know what I mean, right?!). But they were so caught up in their lie that they neglected to realize that they weren’t being the holy people they sought to be. They didn’t realize that God knows our hearts. God knows everything!
Psalm 44:20-21 says: “If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods, God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.”
1 John 3:20 says: “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.”
Psalm 139: 1-6 says: “You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.”
Ananias and Sapphira both dropped down dead because of one small word that they really could have left out. Peter even said, “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!” (Acts 5:4). It is said best in Job 15:6, “Your own mouth condemns you, not I. Your own lips testify against you.” That basically means that with each lie, we are convicting ourselves. There is no need for a jury because God already knows all of the facts of the case.
We often fail to realize that once a lying spirit enters our heart, it replaces the spirit of godliness and of Truth, and ultimately that of the Holy Spirit (which is God). We inadvertently separate ourselves from God because God hates sin. Among the seven things that God detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Lying is mentioned twice! Yes, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, unfortunately it’s unavoidable. But next time you open your mouth to tell a hot one, think first about the spiritual and practical implications of one seemingly little white lie. Just ask Pinocchio, he knows what happens when you lie!
Merciful Mondays: Jael
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31