Today’s Reading: Acts 5:7-8 (NIV)
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her: “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
Sapphira had a choice to make – would she tell the truth about the money or keep her husband’s secret? If you suddenly found yourself in a similar situation, what would you do?
This is such a tough teaching. I don’t know about the rest of you, but it certainly speaks to me. I often find it is much easier to make excuses than accept responsibility; to try and justify an action rather than see it for what it truly is. I’ll confess this is something I have struggled with for years. I could blame my obsessive “sweeping the family dirt under the rug” habit upon my childhood upbringing. I was raised in a time when it was not proper etiquette to talk about addictions, abuse and anger management issues. There were no self-help organizations where people could go and find assistance for the things that were utterly destroying their lives. It is much easier to make excuses for the ones we love and look the other way, rather than embarrass them (and yourself), facing the problem head-on, admitting it, and beginning the process of healing and restoration.
Sapphira lived under the rule and thumb of her spouse. He was not just her marriage partner; he owned her, as women were considered to be the property of their husbands. If she had chosen to confess the dishonest actions of her husband, it may have saved her life for the moment, but surely it would not have spared her from the wrath of an angry man. If Sapphira had known that Ananias died lying, would it have somehow freed her to speak the truth without fear of certain death?
When we choose to cover up the truth, we die lying. This story rings true in all our lives today. When we give our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, we are committing not just a portion of our lives to Him, but all of ourselves and all that we have to give. Jesus takes us as we are, with all the garbage we carry from our past, the choices of our present, and He holds our very future in the palm of His nail-scarred hands. Jesus died to free us from living a life of lies. If Sapphira had really understood that the Lord of life would have seen her through to tell the truth, I am convinced she would not have tried to cover up her husband’s sin. When she lied to the Apostles, she took Ananias sin and made it her very own.
Lord Jesus, we need your help today, to be honest with ourselves and each other. Pinch us hard when we refuse to see the truth, speak the truth, and live in truth. Help us trust you completely to free us from the sins that separate us from our Father. Help us let go right now. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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