So, I was reading Acts 5...the story of Ananias and Sapphira. For those of you who aren't fresh on the story, I shall sum up....They were a couple in the early church that sold some property and said they gave all of the profits to the church when in reality they didn't. And...they lied about it. They were struck dead...and the church was purified.
It's one of those favorite childhood stories...first the husband comes in and lies...WHAM! He drops dead...they cart him out. Then the wife comes in and lies...WHAM! She drops dead...they cart her out. Kids love that stuff.
Over the years I've taken away the truths that God takes lying (sin) very seriously. It is stupid to try to lie to God...er, He knows everything. But today...I gained another teensy insight.
Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look better than they were. Don't say, "no duh" to me. I hadn't looked at it from this angle. Previously, they'd been dead so I only looked at the after affects and not the initial issue.
It would have been perfectly okay for them to sell the property and give part of the profit...but they knew it would make them appear super good if they said they gave it all! So, they lied.
I was struck that sometimes I want to look better than I am. For me...spiritual circles can be the worst. I want to appear strong and godly...but this keeps any blessings from being real. Fellowship should be Christian care at it's finest.
Sometimes that means being very real...letting the whole pride thing go. I know this does work from the handful of times I've tried it. There are huge blessings from just being ME and letting God do the work.
Simple obedience...having friends over when the house has seen cleaner days. Accepting babysitting and admitting exhaustion when I should. Scheduling a playdate when I feel like I don't have anything left to offer...and realizing Christ is all I need.
I think when we act in OBEDIENCE and we resist the desire to appear better than we are...God is able to really use us in powerful ways.
Ah...there's nothing like a little pride check to start the week, eh?