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How God Deals With Phonies


We all know people who are kind of stuck-up and show-offy. Maybe they're real, real nice to you to your face, but they say mean things about you behind your back. Maybe they brag about all the things they have, and how rich they are, but it's not really true.


These people are phonies. And the worst kind of them are the spiritual phonies - people who pretend to be real religious and pious, close to God, and leading a sinless life.


Yeah. Right. It seems like, the more someone tries to make you think they're a holy person, the more "holes" you can find in their story.


The Bible has many examples of phonies in action, and God deals with them sternly.


Consider the story of a man named Ananias (Ann-an-EYE-us) and his wife, Sapphira (Suh-FEER-uh) in chapter 5 of the Book of Acts. This happened in the early Christian church, soon after Jesus went up to heaven and the early believers were organizing the first church.


Ananias and Sapphira sold some land. Ananias brought the money and laid it at the feet of the apostles, in front of everybody else, apparently expecting applause and big cheers from the crowd for his generosity. They were led to believe that he was donating everything he had made on the land sale to the church. But he wasn't. He was lying. He was a phony!


But the Spirit of the Lord let the Apostle Peter know that actually, Ananias had withheld a part of the money, out of greed. He confronted him about it - and Ananias dropped dead on the spot.


Three hours later, Sapphira arrived, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her how much money they had made on the land sale, and she lied just like Ananias had.


Boom! She dropped dead on the spot, too.


Now, God was making an example out of them, knowing that this story would be in the Bible for all to see. He is rarely this direct in dealing with phonies in our everyday lives.


But the moral of the story is: you never, ever get away with lying. You never, ever get away with being greedy. You never, ever escape consequences for pretending that you're someone you're not.


Knowing that, doesn't it make sense to just never be a phony in the first place? Life is much better when you can just . . . get real. And stay that way!


By Susan Darst Williams Heart Lessons 044 2007


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