“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 5.1-2
In Acts 4.32 and following, we read about several people who started a trend of generosity. They would sell their possessions and bring the rest to the church (i.e. the disciples) where they would lay the entire amount at their feet. They would, in essence, give all they made on the sell of property, land, etc., and give it to the church.
From what I read, this was not something the apostles required. It sounds more like something which was given generously and voluntarily. All the believers had everything in common, we read in 4.32, and shared all their possessions. They were sharing from the abundance and out of love for the Lord and for the church.
However, Ananias was dishonest. He sold some property and ”with his wife’s full knowledge” kept back some of what he made ”for himself” and then gave the rest to the apostles. I read no where in this text where anyone forced him to sell the property. It reads like he was wanting the credit for being generous but really being dishonest by not giving all of the gift. His selfishness kept him from donating everything and yet he wanted credit from the church for doing what others had done.
The rest of the story is not a pretty one, but many lessons can be learned from this. Sometimes we feel like what we own is actually ours. We might own lots of things in this world but we should possess nothing. God owns all things and we are merely stewards of his generosity and love.
Its easy to point fingers at Ananias but what are we keeping from the Lord which he has asked us to steward? Our time, energy, resources, heart?
Lets offer all we are to the Lord. Hold nothing back. Trusting in him completely to guide every step of the way.
“O Lord God, I trust you. Even when it is not easy to do so. Thank you Lord for loving me and allowing me to find hope and healing in your hands. I praise you for who you are and cast my cares before you. Come now, Lord Jesus, and fill me with your peace and your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen