Is this response extreme?

Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.” Acts 5:3-4 (The Message)

Surely, if all that Peter says is true, that the field was Ananias’ and the proceeds from it his to do as he chose, then saying that this was a lie to God and not men is a bit extreme! Well, not in this circumstance because the commitment of the church to its life together is a covenant commitment to follow the way of Christ faithfully. Is it extreme to say that selfishness is following Satan and not God? No! If we are to follow the way of Jesus it means following the way of selfless love and that means personal sacrifice as a privilege of faith. If the Christian in the West neglects the responsibility to live in selfless generosity toward others then we are missing out on a whole heap of blessing. The consequence of not keeping to a commitment to life selflessly is for us to bear. If we don’t do things God’s way then we may, as a consequence, open ourselves to the accusation of doing things Satan’s way.

May we grasp the privilege of giving of ourselves and what we have selflessly so that the way of life in Jesus Christ should be fulfilled in our lives, in our church, and in our world. Amen.

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