2019-03-13- I Totally Got That Wrong



Ananias and Sapphira

WHAT’S THE POINT? My private character is worth more than public opinion

WORD UP: Acts 5:1-11

INWARD PRAYER: Prayers for myself


  1. As you listened to the devotional today, what shocked, surprised, or stood out to you most? Why?
  2. Name some public figures you can think of whose private character has impacted their leadership or public life negatively or positively.
  3. What private character issues impact someone’s public life the most? Why do you think that is?
  4. In Acts 5 we heard about Ananias & Sapphira’s price they paid for dishonesty. Do you think that is too harsh? Why or why not?
  5. Do you think you take your private character as seriously as God takes it? Why or why not?
  6. If you were to work on your character, what do you think would be the first thing to work on? What is preventing you from working on this?
  7. How often do you invite the Holy Spirit to point out areas of your life that you need work on? Do you think that should be a regular practice? Why or why not?
  8. Who in your life do you feel most comfortable to share your private character issues? Have you ever shared those kinds of character issues with them and if so, how did that go? How did it feel?

OUTWARD PRAYER: Prayers for others


Ananias and Sapphira

WHAT’S THE POINT? My private character is worth more than public opinion

WORD UP: Acts 5:1-11

This story in Scripture actually starts a little earlier in Acts 4, and you need to understand the context. Jesus has gone to heaven and then the book of Acts, the acts of the apostles starts. The Holy Spirit shows up and the Church is born. It’s not quite like church now, it was kind of an every day thing and everyone cared for everyone else. Right before our passage, people were selling what they had to take care of the whole because they loved one another. A couple verses before this, a disciple who is known for his encouragement, Barnabas, sold a piece of property and donated the money.

Ananias and Sapphira, husband and wife, see this phenomenon and probably see how people that were giving stuff away were talked about. Maybe like our topic last week, they were jealous and wanted that same kind of fame that others received for giving away their money. They chose to do a good deed, but with wrong motives and wrong character. They messed up and it cost them both their lives.

In the Scripture, we want to highlight a few things around the main point.

  1. God sees both the private and the public, and he cares about it all
  2. Their private decision corrupted their public act
  3. God is concerned about character. Yes there is grace, yes Jesus forgives, but He does that to give us the opportunity to have our character transformed by Him and become the people He has created us to be.

WAKE UP:Here are a few ideas for starting off your devo or during it that could grab the attention of the youth you are teaching:

  1. Use a video like this one: https://youtu.be/M5SgGlx_lls After playing this video, you could lead into talking about the Scripture by saying: “These magic tricks probably were pretty amazing in the moment, but when the secret to them was revealed, they didn’t look very amazing. Just like the two people we’re going to read about, on the outside they looked like amazing people, giving money away, but when their secret was revealed, how un-amazing they were was revealed.
  2. Pick a public figure or name a few whose private life impacted their public one in a negative way (eg. golfer Tiger Woods)
  3. Share a story when you found out something about someone’s private life changed what you think about them and what kind of person they are. (Be careful not to gossip or share stories about people that might youth may know personally)


  • My private life will directly impact my public life over time
  • What is unseen by most is still seen by my Creator
  • I am accountable to God for my private and my public life


  • Invite the Holy to search my heart (Psalm 139-23-24) and point out anything in my thought life or private actions that is not what Jesus would have for me
  • If there is anything that the Holy Spirit highlights, I need to confess that to God and a trusted Christ follower
  • Ask Jesus to transform my heart so that my private thoughts and actions resemble more and more my public life every day