The apostles of old spread the spirit of faithfulness throughout the whole church. Unfortunately, one unfaithful couple, Ananias and Sapphira, sold some land and gave part of the proceeds to the apostles, reporting that they had given all the money to the church.
God revealed their deception to Peter, and he called them on it. Because they were under the grips of the spirit of unfaithfulness, they lied. They ended up incurring the wrath of God and were struck dead instantly.
Leaders all over the world struggle with issues of faithfulness. Not only do we live in a materialistic world, but we buy into the world’s economy.
We think that if we grasp and cling to our possessions through our own cleverness, we will eventually “make it.” God’s economy is radically different. He enjoys meeting the needs of His followers. He doesn’t merely give of His resources, but of Himself.
Ananias and Sapphira clung to their possessions, lied about their giving, pretended to be something they were not, and thought they could get by with merely appearing to be faithful. They were more concerned with their image than their relationship with God.
Nothing speaks to others more loudly or serves them better than a leader’s faithfulness. Effective leaders gather for others and then give away.
Consider several ways to cultivate faithfulness in your own life: Be content with whatever you have, don’t allow greed to control you, and be grateful.
Sometimes we hold onto our possessions because we fear we might run out. But when we believe that giving is the way to live, we will produce even more in the future. This is the life Jesus had in mind for us (John 10:10).
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? …What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” — Acts 5:3–4, NIV
Prayer: God, we ask for unity of purpose among all our stakeholders.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicholas Ntiamoahis a Program Implementation Manager in Ghana.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.