Have you ever thought about what it means to have Godly character? What are those characteristics that God expects us to posses as His followers? Today let's talk about one of those characteristics...integrity. Most of us would simply call this honesty.
Let's look at Acts, Chapter 5 and the story of Ananias and Sapphira. For those of you that aren't familiar with the story, Ananias decided to lie to God. He sold a piece of land, brought part of the money to the disciples, and claimed it was the full amount from the land sale. Peter confronted Ananias on his lie and said this to Ananias, How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God.
Now here is the next sentence from this passage in the Bible:
As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Each of us should immediately realize the importance of not lying to God. Was there a warning not to do it again? No. Was there a small punishment? No. Did Ananias stop to explain his position on the issue? No. Ananias instantly fell to the floor and died.
If you don't yet understand the severity of lying to God, take a look at subsequent verses dealing with the wife of Ananias. Peter confronted Sapphira about her part in the lie concerning the sale of this land. Peter said,How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door and they will carry you out, too. What's the next line in the Bible? Here it is, Instantly, she fell to the floor and died.
How many times have you heard people say something like this, God, if you will just get me out of this situation I promise I will do (fill in the blank). Let me say that each of us needs to be very careful about promises made to God and to others. Ananias and Sapphira paid with their lives for lying to God. God clearly expects integrity and honesty from his followers.
Let me challenge each of us today. When you make a promise it is just that...a promise. Situations don't change your promise, people don't change your promise, circumstances don't change your promise. Honor God and be a person of your word.
So, start developing a list of Godly characteristics that believers should possess. The first characteristic for your list? Integrity.