Which is more important?


Don Merritt is in Acts. “The Curious Affair of Ananias and Sapphira”.  Today a tale of intrigue, deception and consequences. The consequence being the sudden death of the two conspirators. The implication and lesson(?) being: “Don’t mess with God.”

There was a time I would have applauded.  Don’t mess with God is a powerful theme in the life of a Christian.  Along with sin, sacrifice, saving and self-discipline.  This morning I applaud for a different reason.  Because the following two “divisive” obligations of Christian belief no longer apply to my connection to these verses.

a) Is it historically accurate?
b) How can a loving God cause the death of two of his “creations” over “money”?

On the first I don’t know. Nor do I need it to know. On the second I don’t see it that way. I see something that works for me today.

I get caught up in something. I commit to that something publicly. I give my all to that publicly. Except I hold back a comfort zone … a safety net … I am not being dishonest (I tell myself) – merely prudent. And anyway (I tell myself) I am accepted, I belong, I am somebody. And anyway (I tell myself) – no one needs to know, I give them more than is expected, more than is required.

I have done that a lot. I have the capacity to do that still. When I accept a plaudit. When someone holds me up as a good example of a (whatever they see me being a good example of). When I say the words of membership because that is expected. When I smile to your face and speak against you behind closed doors. Whenever I am one thing publicly and something else privately.

Because when my private-public mismatch becomes my public humiliation … I die a little or a lot inside. I am distanced from those I hold dear. I am an outcast from my own living.

These verses speak to me with clarity right now 2000+ years after they were written.

I see no value in distancing myself from the love within these verses simply because I prefer to debate evidence and historical accuracy. If that means less need to be a labelled bona-fide Christian in the eyes of the membership – so be it.  I have found the answer to a question rarely asked:

“Which  is more important: my standing amongst other Christians, or my personal and living relationship with the being I call GSHJ?”

My answer is the latter.  And I find more and more love in the bible when I read it this way.

What about you?

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6 thoughts on “Which is more important?

  1. Motives….I too have always thought it’s a “don’t mess with God” message. Now I see it more as a don’t lie to yourself kind of message.

    The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
    It reminds of the quote from people of the Lie.

    Evil is not committed by people who feel uncertain about their righteousness, who question their own motives, who worry about betraying themselves.

    The evil of this world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisee’s of our own day, the self-righteous who think they are without sin because they are unwilling to suffer the discomfort of significant self-examination.

    It is out of their failure to put themselves on trial that their evil arises. They are, in my experience remarkably greedy people.”

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