Today's Reading: Acts 5-8
While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God! Acts 5: 4 NRSV
Peter is speaking to Ananias, a member of the early church community. Many members were selling property in order to share the proceeds with the community as needed. Ananias and his wife Sapphira have done something that is not entirely clear from the scripture. They have sold their property and received the money. They have also kept some of the proceeds. That is not the lie. The lying is somehow related to what they have informed the community of faith. Perhaps they have announced that they are giving all the proceeds to the church, yet have kept back a part of them. Or maybe they said they received a lower amount than they actually received.
The point is that lying to the church is lying to the Holy Spirit; in other words, lying to God.
Lying to those in our Christian community is lying to God is what this scripture says.
I have been sitting here trying to think when I have ever lied to someone in the church. I confess I have done so. Thank goodness God has not struck me dead! But I am not comfortable with thinking about that. Perhaps I don't consider it one of my greater sins. However, this scripture convicts me that perhaps I need to find the person I lied to and confess. At the very least, I need to spend some time confessing to God what I have done and asking for forgiveness.
What about you?
God, forgive me for lying to YOU about: ______________________________. Although I lied to a member of my worshiping community, it was really you I was not being truthful with. In the merciful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims