This episode narrated by CDR Joe Chiaravallotti, USN (Ret.)
Truth is the foundation
Our Scripture reading comes from Acts 5:5, quoting from the New King James Version:
“Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.”
A close reading of Acts 5:1-11, the account of Ananias and Sapphira’s deceit, should lead one to conclude that truth is the essential thing. In this perplexing story, which takes place as the early church was forming, maintaining a standard of truth and honesty proved to be the bedrock for the church and our Christian faith. Those endowed with leadership responsibility needed to set and safeguard ethical standards. Many are shocked at the decisive, harsh response to the couple’s duplicity, yet neither Peter nor the disciples brought about the speedy demise of this couple. They lied to the Spirit of the Lord.
How might the Christian leader apply the lesson of Ananias and Sapphira in the work place? I can recall saying or hearing others say: “I have to make an example of this one.” Why is it necessary for a leader to take extreme positions?
The practice of truth and maintaining high standards is paramount for the Christian leader. The leader often finds himself or herself in a position to judge matters that have lasting import for the individual, the unit, perhaps the family, and others. In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul encourages diligence, which leads to right decisions and honorable handling of truth. Essentially, practicing truth helps one hold a straight course with an integrity that withstands scrutiny. Requiring integrity in those one leads sets the stage for marketplace and home effectiveness and stability.
Pilate said to Jesus in John 18:38, “What is truth?” Truth is the foundation on which we stand and is what Christian leaders are called to practice.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, The Christian leader who upholds truth protects the integrity of institutions established by God.
- Second, The Christian leader sends a compelling message to others to “put away lying” and to speak truth to every man (see Ephesians 4:25).
- Third, The Christian leader, as Peter modeled, would do well to allow all involved a chance to tell his/her side of the story. Audi Alteram Partem cautions us to hear the other side. Leaders need not fear truth but must pursue it.