New International Version (NIV)
Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
What if Ananias and Sapphira had children?
This question has been burning in my heart lately. Can you imagine the children’s anguish? Can you imagine their agony and pain after losing both parents on the same day?
Scripture is silent on this, so maybe they did not have any. But what if they did? It’s a back stage story anyway, so who cares? Normally we do not want to peek behind the main story and get entangled in something that could break our heart. Consequently, we leave sleeping dogs alone; and that’s the cruel situation of this world.
Thousands of children are silently suffering from some catastrophic events in their lives. Many are those all over the world who are suffering through life as orphans due to some incontrovertibly thoughtless indulgences by their parents. Some have been torn apart by the selfish demands of their parents in very bitter and protracted divorce cases. Silently, they are crying day and night. Silently, they are dying; yet, no one notices their sorrow or cares to know – and there are many of them everywhere.
Think about it. Did Benjamin have to be deprived of a mother’s love from birth because of a selfish attachment of Rachel to her father’s gods (Gen. 31:30, 32-35)? Did Joseph have to suffer through such cruel sibling rivalry and eventual slavery without a mother’s protection?
Often times, we forget that we share our lives with other people. We do not belong to ourselves alone. We belong to God and the people He has entrusted us to. What happens in our lives affects the people around us, particularly, our children and their future. If you ever diminished the cruelty of selfishness, look into the eyes of an orphan. Enter into the mind of a child caught in the middle of parental strife over custody rights, and you’ll see the ugliness of divorce. The child has nothing to do with it; yet they suffer the blunt of the process. He or she becomes a victim of adult insensitivity.
So, how do we protect our children from such unnecessary anguish? How could we help those who have been caught in the line of parental cross fire or pursuit? I suggest three things.
First, we must hold up unselfish attitudes and give up our rights for the welfare and future of our children. It is called, pure love. No one can boldly claim love for their children when they cannot suffer under some unpleasant condition for the children’s sake. It could be a career, ambition, promotion, re-location or some cherished grounds in a marriage dispute.
Second, we must let truth hold all aspects of our life together in one unit. That’s integrity. Hypocrisy has no place in the life of the believer. Ananias and Sapphira adorned this garb and sent themselves into a shocking demise instead of a place on the Holy Spirit’s Honor Roll.
Finally, let’s have a heart for orphans and children caught in the endless carnage of refugee centers in wars and natural disaster zones. James calls it the “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless” (James 1:27).
Is that for you?