Sincere Offering

Sincere Offering

There is an interesting Tamil proverb. Peacocks dances are beautiful during cloudy and rainy days. In contrast turkey is not as colourful or beautiful as a peacock. However, turkey dances imitating peacock. In the same way, people try to imitate others without sense or reason.
Ananias and Sapphira were good godly couple. The Jerusalem church grew as a community. They shared all they owned and had common purse and none would suffer for basic needs. Many church members voluntarily sacrificed to be part of the community. However, Joseph Barnabas, son of consolation stood out and was respected. (Acts 4: 36-37) Ananias and Sapphira must have been provoked by Joseph Barnabas.
1) Jealousy: Ananias and Sapphira could be been envious about the acclaim Barnabas received from the congregation. When all talked high of Barnabas commitment, sacrifice, and the respect he earned in the church, they thought, they could imitate Barnabas. Like turkey trying to imitate a peacock.
2) Hypocrisy: Reputation of Barnabas was because of his inner noble loving character. Annanias and Sapphira expected reputation and honour from others without inner holiness and commitment. Hence, they sold their own land and under-reported the sales proceed to be given to common fund, while keeping a part for themselves. Peter stated very clearly that the property was theirs and no compulsion from the church to sell; even after they sold, it was theirs, they need not have donated. (Acts 5:4)
3) Divided heart: Their loyalty was divided. On one hand they wanted to please God, another to receive acclamation and third, they wanted to play safe by keeping some proceeds of sale for future security. In effect, First, they cheated God. Second, they cheated people of God. Third, they cheated themselves and were punished by God.
Giving is good but should be with right intention, motivation and purpose. Intention of Ananias and Sapphira was not for glory of God, but glory for themselves. Giving was not for the community but for themselves.
Is there sincerity, integrity and honesty in my giving to the Lord?

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