Impression Management… Part 2

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Impression Management, Podcasts
Tags: , , , , , , ,

PLEASE CLICK ON THE PLAYER OR THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

“I feel like a big faker because I’ve been putting my life back together, and nobody knows.”   ―     Stephen Chbosky

That’s Impression Management… Did you give it any thought? i wonder…. how many of us actually practice it? Come on let’s be honest, don’t we all do it at one time or another? How about this? we tell someone we don’t want to do something or go somewhere because… and we fill in the blanks with something that won’t make us sound… bad. If we can explain that we’re busy or something that sounds important then we don’t have to worry about looking bad. Nobody wants to look bad! That’s impression management. As i look back on things i see where i have used Impression management quite often. Fortunately without the same results as this husband and wife, yet… i ‘m fairly sure there will be a judgment at some point.

i think that Luke tells this story of Ananias and Sapphira’s judgment in the midst all the other stories which are about the spread of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives, because he wants me to know that the Spirit at work among God’s people is a HOLY Spirit and God will not be mocked by my sin!  i tend to think that God is safe, that i am safe and that i can get away with treating him as less than what He has revealed himself to be. But here i’m shown an example that i am not safe, or covered by grace and mercy when i intentionally deceive Him. He is Holy and He is Good, but He will not be trifled with.  God will not be mocked.

Back to the title, “Impression Management”. After the introductions and situation are given in verses 1-2, Peter confronts Ananias with his crime in verses 3-4.  He says, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit …”  Then at the end of verse 4 he says, “You have not lied to men but to God.”  We’re at the heart of the matter.  The real crime in is not that this man and his wife kept back some of the money.  Their crime is that they have lied to God. Ananias and Sapphira lied to God the Holy Spirit while attempting to make themselves look better than they were, thus Impression Management.  It is the sin of hypocrisy.  Peter says to the husband, “Didn’t (the field) 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?”  Hypocrisy within the community of God’s people can destroy the community. Theologian John Stott says, “Ananias and Sapphira were not so much misers as they were thieves.” They wanted the credit and the prestige for sacrificial generosity, without the inconvenience of it.  So, in order to gain a reputation to which they had no right, they told an intentional lie.  Their motive in giving was not to relieve the poor, but to fatten their own ego.” Impression Management!

“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.”   ―     Sharon Salzberg

In closing, There has never been a time when any of God’s people were perfect.  But i need to be on guard against the work of the unholy spirit.  F.F. Bruce writes, “The story of Ananias is to the book of Acts what the story of Achan is to the book of Joshua.  In both narratives an act of deceit interrupts the victorious progress of God’s people.”

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