Stewardship Insights

You Can’t Buy God’s Gifts

May your silver perish with you. You thought to obtain God’s gift with money!

Acts 8:20

“Simony”—have you ever heard of it? It is an actual term. It refers to using money to buy an office in the church.

The term comes from an episode back in apostolic times. A former sorcerer, now believer, named Simon noticed something: Special gifts from the Spirit came when the apostles laid their hands on people. Simon offered money to the apostles to buy for himself the gift the apostles had. But in response, Peter said to Simon: “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right in God’s sight.” (Acts 8:20)

Now, it’s not often among us these days that folks try to buy a church office. In fact, we struggle to give away board positions for free to good men! Still, has this sin ever been tempting to you? Have you ever thought, “God can’t help liking me a little more, if I give a little more of an offering”?

While we encourage generous offerings, the only right response to the sinful attitude above is what Peter said: “Repent of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord” (Acts 8:22). The forgiveness you find in Jesus Christ is exactly the proper motivation for you to give generously. After all, God (the Son) himself bled profusely to pay for your transgressions, and now he lives abundantly to intercede for you.