Always True

Acts 4:36
The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling
it, the money was yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this?
You weren’t lying to us but to God! (v.4).

Walking past me with a noticeable lump in his
shirt, my son tried to act nonchalant as he
hurried through the room. Not realizing how
obvious he looked, he dropped his head and pulled
out a pair of scissors when I asked him what he was
hiding. Because he had taken to “redesigning” things
in his room, we had banned him from unsupervised
use of scissors. Holding back a smile at his belief in my
naiveté, I lovingly disciplined him for his disobedience
and deception.

Perhaps Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be viewed
well by others (Acts 4:32). Maybe they felt their partial
contribution wouldn’t be seen by God. Ultimately, their
reasons don’t matter. The lesson of their story is not that
God wanted all of their money. He wanted their whole
heart (v.4).

Mired in layers of mixed motives, we try to justify our
sinful choices with a cover-up of good intentions. Evasive
responses or meaningless “right” answers do little to
keep God from seeing the truth (Isaiah 29:13-15). We’re
only fooling ourselves, for He isn’t fooled.

Generally grounded in self-preservation, deception has
been around since the Garden of Eden. Even great men
of faith learned the hard way about the consequences of
this common temptation. Passing off Sarah as his sister
(not his wife), Abraham lived in the land of half-truths for
many years (Genesis 20:13). He had been willing to leave behind all that had
been familiar to him to follow God’s leading—everything except the power to
deceive. It’s interesting that after Abraham was finally willing to deal in truth,
God fulfilled His promise to him (Genesis 20:17–21:2).

God longs to give us good gifts, the greatest being intimacy with Him. But
they’ll come only when we’re willing to deal in truth. —Regina Franklin

Read Proverbs 26:23
to see the destructive
consequences of

Do you struggle with
being honest with
yourself or with others?
How are your choices
to deceive rooted in