My kids are into asking me who I like more in movies and literature (ex. Anakin Skywalker or Obi -Wan Kenobi; Harry or Hagrid, etc.). We ask questions like this and compare names occasionally, but usually it doesn’t involve a comparison of one who has a good reputation with someone who doesn’t. It ’s kind of a no – brainer in that situation.
With the names given in the title above, one name conjures good feelings and a striking reputation as one who encouraged and helped. The other two names are associated with greed, selfishness, and a terrible end. In Acts 4:36 -5:11, both Barnabas and Ananias and Sapphira gained a testimony primarily with what they did with their possessions and money. Consider three applications that might say a lot about what people might come to think about us:
With my money, I might help others or I might be selfish. We cannot live in a state of selfishness and be a faithful follower of Christ. Luke 9:23 clearly states that denial of self is the first qualification of discipleship. How I treat my money whether helping others or hoarding it for myself will make an impact on others and on my relationship with the Lord (cf. 1 Tim. 6:17 -19).
With my money, I might be authentic or I might be deceitful. When it comes to money and the use of it, some people are as straightforward as they can be. I might suggest that it is because they have rightfully placed money as a tool rather than as an end unto itself. Ananias and Sapphira saw the money as an end to which they would (most likely in their estimation) receive acclaim, prominence, and glory for themselves while behaving deceitfully in front of others. With my money, I might honor God or I might forget He is watching. Ananias and Sapphira behaved in a way in which they assumed there would be no negative repercussions. When Peter sees through Ananias and accuses him of lying to God, it was evident that he (and later his wife) thought God wasn’t interested or powerful in stopping this dishonesty (Heb. 4:12). What pleases God is honoring Him by both the gift and the right heart (2 Cor. 9:6 -7).
While asking questions like “who do you like more?” are fun, when it comes to these under consideration, here ’s a more important question: Who are you LIKE more? Barnabas or Ananias & Sapphira. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”