But What If … ? (Part 3)

February 17, 2012

in the generous life

OK, here goes.

But what if …

the authority asks me to do something wrong, hurtful, sinful?

Just say no.  It’s that simple.  You don’t have to be mean about it (in fact it’s always a good idea to be respectful), but just say no.

In Acts 5:17-41 we have the story where the apostles were imprisoned for preaching the Gospel.  Here’s a small portion.

The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.  “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”  Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”  Acts 4:27-32  NIV

They said no.  The Sanhedrin didn’t ask them to pay a tax.  They didn’t ask them to pick up their socks.  They didn’t ask them to have a report done by Friday.  The Sanhedrin asked them to stop preaching the Gospel, something God told them to do.

If your boss asks you to fudge the books a bit, say no (don’t steal).  If your husband asks you for a threesome, say no (stay sexually pure).  If a church leader asks you to lie, say no (speak the truth).  You are responsible for what you say and do.

I have heard teachings that say you should submit even if your authority tells you to do wrong.  This is usually followed with 1 Peter 3:5-6 where Sarah is commended for obeying Abraham.  My personal take is that this is a general statement about her demeanor, not a commendation for the specific times she lied.

I have to point to the New Testament story of Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10).  Her husband sold some land and asked her to lie about the selling price of the land.  Didn’t go too well for either of them.  He died the moment he lied.  A bit later she died when she lied.  

Telling a lie is bad.  It’s a sin.  God says don’t lie.  If anyone tells you to lie.  Just say no.  If anyone asks you to do wrong.  Just say no.  Submitting is a choice you make and it needs to be a thinking choice. Do not follow people blindly.  Keep your brain in gear.

More tomorrow … 


I so love Julie’s humor.  A must read ~ Unspoken Love Isn’t Always Enough (from Intimacy in Marriage)


Sheila continues to put out great stuff (she must be writing overtime) as she counts down to her new book ~ 29 Days to Great Sex Day 14: When You Don’t Want to Make Love  (aff link)  (from To Love, Honor and Vacuum)


Be generous! Lori <><

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila B February 17, 2012 at 9:08 am

Hi Lori,

So glad you wrote about this subject. Sometimes people have very extreme views as to the submission scripture. I’m so glad to see what you have written over the last three days and I know it is hard to be so open about certain things in this world. You did an awesome job as always.

God Bless you and your marriage!!!


Jenny February 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

Love your blog and am loving this series. But still feel I need to comment today.
While yes I believe honesty is the best policy, there is a reason sarah was blessed and spared even when she lied and sapphira was not. Sarah was obeying her husband and saving her life. Her husbands reasons for her to lie was to avoid death. While God could have saved them had they been honest Abraham told her to lie. She honored her husband because he had her well being at heart. We know sarah did not follow her husband blindly and questioned him when he did or said things that she wondered at. (laughing and questioning having a child beyond her years)
Sapphira and her husband on the other hand were only lying for personal gain. He husband was in the wrong and had she told the truth she would have been spared. God, truly does honor the humble heart and the one who seeks to do right. We have another example of this with Abigail. Where she takes control to serve David so her household will live. But she doesn’t hide it from her husband. When she tells him he is struck dead because of his evilness.
Sapphira also had evil in her heart as did her husband and that is the reason for their dimise.


The Generous Wife February 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

@Jenny I do understand what you are saying. However, this is my take. Much of the Old Testament is narrative. It doesn’t always say he did this and it was good. She did this and it was bad. It just tells a story without comment ~ he did this, she did that. God is gracious and often protects His people even when they do stupid, sinful things. Abraham and Sarah lied. Then “… the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai” This all seems pretty bad to me. Yes, God can use bad for good, but I think using good for good is much better. It’s not like God couldn’t have protected Abraham and Sarah another way. Abraham chose a lie out of fear rather than trusting God for protection. This just seems more about God’s grace over their general weakness, bad judgement and sinful lies rather than His approval of their behavior.


christina February 19, 2012 at 7:58 am

Thank you for writing this article, God’s word is so clear about a lie. Still, we find the need to differentiate between a small lie n a big lie for some reason. Even parents who tell their kids about santa are essentially lying to them. Hopefully the church will take a less casual attitude towards all kinds of lying.


Angie March 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I started at the beginning of your series earlier this evening. I don’t recall a definition of submission. Are you using it to mean obedience? Can you clarify your use of submission?

Thank you.


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