After the final episode of the 2002 TV program Survivor: Africa, a wrap-up special focused on the final contestants. The show’s host Jeff Probst said that the victor won “mostly by sticking with his principles.” The champion later explained that he wanted to win while retaining “dignity and self-respect.” He elaborated that you don’t have to lie, cheat, or do underhanded things to win. You can be competitive, yet still be truthful and nice. In short, he permitted no discrepancy between image and reality.
In the book of Acts we read about Ananias and Sapphira, who did have a gap between what they wanted to be known for and who they really were (5:1-11). Satan filled their hearts with a deceptive plan. They sold a piece of property and brought just a portion of the money to the apostles, while pretending they were giving all the proceeds. They wanted to be recognized as a generous couple, but they were not what they appeared to be. This gap caused them to lie to the Holy Spirit and to the faith community. They paid a terrible price—death. Their example stands as a stark warning to us all.
What discrepancies have we permitted in our lives? We must confess them and close the gaps. — Marvin Williams
Lord, by Your Spirit grant that we
May live with such integrity
That when we simply give our word
No one will doubt what has been heard. —D. De Haan