Episode ThemeJustice-Seeking: Honesty
An honest witness tells the truth; but a dishonest witness tells lies.
Do you know what was the first recorded sin of the early Christian church? Here’s the scoop:
A Christian named Barnabas sold a field that he owned. He brought the money to the leaders of the church to use. Ananias and his wife Sapphira were also believers in the young Christian community. When news of Barnabas’s gift got around, Ananias sold some land that he owned and he and Sapphira decided to bring some of the money from the sale of the land to the church.
But Ananias told everyone that they were giving all of the money from the sale to the church, not just some of the money. God told Peter that was a lie. And Peter said, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You kept some of the money. Didn’t the land belong to you? After it was sold, you could have used the money as you wished. You haven’t lied to just anyone. You’ve lied to God.” (Acts 5: 3-4)
With that, Ananias fell down dead. Several hours later, Sapphira came looking for him. Peter asked her, “Are you giving all of the money from the sale of your land to the church?’’
Sapphira answered, “Yes.” She fell down dead also and was buried next to her husband.
Why was God so harsh with Ananias and Sapphira? To understand why God was so angry, you have to understand what God values. God hates lying. If Ananias and Sapphira had said, “We sold some land and would like to give some of the money to the church,” God would have been pleased with their generosity and their truthfulness.
What does God value? He wants us to be honest with him, with ourselves, and with others. Telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is the only way to live. Just ask Ananias or Sapphira.