Greed makes money the object of devotion and commitment. It separates families and friendships while breeding dishonesty and guilt. Barnabas, a member of the early church, sold a field he owned and laid the money at the apostles’ feet. At that time, the believers shared everything they had. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s knowledge, Ananias held back some of the proceeds while pretending to contribute the full amount.
Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you’ve lied to the Holy Spirit and kept for yourself some of the money? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You’ve not lied just to human beings but to God.” Upon hearing this, Ananias fell down and died. Three hours later, Sapphira appeared unaware of what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that’s the price.”
Peter responded, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” And she fell down at his feet and died. (Acts 5:1-10)
The honest servant put the money at the apostles feet, the dishonest servant fell dead at their feet. As Jesus said, “Beware, and be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
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