Right Path but the Wrong Perspective


In the post Godly Path + Godly Perspective = God’s Peace, we learned that Jesus is the Godly Path, and that God’s Word is the Godly Perspective.  Romans 12 has so much to say about developing our Godly Perspective. We are told how to see the Path and how to develop the Perspective. Verse two says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” From Romans 12:2, we see in order to have God’s Peace we must follow the right Path and have the right Perspective.

The equation or formula for peace must remain in that ratio. One cannot achieve God’s Peace without both elements. Many times in life we can look like we are doing the right thing, that is following the Godly Path, but 1 Corinthians 3:18 says, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.” We can look like we want to do the right thing but in heart and mind we are thinking the contrary. I describe that as following the Right Path but the Wrong Perspective.

Let’s see an example from Acts 5.

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

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? 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 have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “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.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

As we can see, one who has the Right Path but the Wrong Perspective will present himself/herself as looking like they are doing the right thing, God’s Path, but their motive, Godly Perspective, is in sharp contrast to the Godly Path. Ananias and Sapphira are not alone in thinking that they could fool God. He knows what is in our hearts. Jesus said, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.” We are justified by faith not by being fake.

In Acts 4, the people of God had come where “…God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” Ananias and Sapphira wanted the praise of being one whom God’s grace was truly at work, but they did not want to give out of the grace of God but out of looking good. Their mindset was wrong for they had Right Path but the Wrong Perspective.

We see that God saw through their pretentiousness and dealt with them in a manner that surprised us all. Both, after having the opportunity to tell the truth, they continued to lie and died for it. The intent then was for the people to realize that God knows, sees and judges us. Ananias and Sapphira did not enjoy God’s Peace because they had the Right Path but the Wrong Perspective.

What about us? Where are our hearts and minds when we look like we are following the Godly Path? Are we trying to look the part and not be committed enough to truly play the part. Remember, God knows our heart. We should not deceive ourselves thinking that we can fool God. As we said in the vernacular back in the day, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

 

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