Have you ever lied when you really didn’t have to? Exaggerated a good story to make it better? Increased the number of something to make yourself more of a hero? We call these “little white lies” and consider them normal in conversation. But God doesn’t consider them normal. In fact, He considers them an abnormality to the way things are supposed to be, which is another name for sin.
Ananias and Sapphira owned some land, and as new believers, they sold it, kept some of the proceeds and gave the rest to the apostles. But upon their giving of the gift, they proclaimed that they gave all that the land was worth. Why do such a thing? There was no obligation, legal or theological or personal, even to sell the land in the first place. They could have kept the land and been fine. Or they could have sold the land and brought half to the church and been honored for their generosity.
But instead, they tried to play the heroes and lied about the amount they brought. And in so doing, they not only lied to the apostles, but they lied to God. And that was not to be tolerated in this fledgling Church. While the church was facing attacks from outside its ranks, attacks from the Jewish leadership and the Romans alike, they also are here facing attacks from within their own ranks.
Trust and faith are the same word in the bible, and lies break both. To allow a lie to linger is to actively destroy faith. This is why lies are so dangerous – they burrow like termites, eating away at the foundation of the building until it collapses. Was this a drastic punishment for a little white lie? You bet. Was it unjustified? No way.
Beware of lies, big and small ones. They will destroy the foundation of anything you’ve built and bring judgement upon your head.