If you want to see Christians thriving, look at the end of Acts 4. They are united, empowered, and strong with a sense of togetherness that many had never experienced before. So much so that they begin to give away even their most valuable possessions for the sake of the gospel message. But then something happens. It’s our first glimpse into a struggle happening inside the church. It’s the sin of Ananias and Sapphira (Read 4:36-5:2), where they do a seemingly very noble thing. They generously give to the church money they received from selling their house. The problem is that they tried to make everyone else think that they had given all of the money. They acted and/or pretended to appear more committed than they actually were. Make no mistake, holding back some of the money, or even most of it, was not a bad thing. Any kind of giving is a good thing. It was the deception that they gave it all that got them into trouble.
The question is, are we doing the same thing? Are we wearing masks and pretending to be someone that we're not? Are we who we say we are? I believe this passage is teaching us that God wants us to be authentic and real, especially as believers. When we’re acting the part, the power of our witness diminishes greatly and our example ultimately is built on a lie. We may be able to fool the people around us for a while, but the truth always shows itself eventually. And of course God always sees the truth about us.
God chooses normal, everyday sinners like you and me to tell and show others the way. We can’t do that when we’re putting up a front. It’s not real, it’s an act. May we be authentic as we walk with the Lord. And then may we not be afraid to share the good news when we’re feeling the nudge. Even if we’re not confident, we fumble over our words, or we fear persecution from others. The Holy Spirit will help us to use our own story to point people to Christ. Our words become His.