It's April Fool's Day time for twenty-four hours of nonstop pranks, plots, and practical jokes. There are the typical gags like "Your shoe's untied!" and-a favorite of brothers everywhere. 'There's a spider crawling up your back!"
Then there are the more elaborate schemes, usually created by adults to try to "pull a fast one" on one of their friends. Take, for example, the two attorneys who take turns mailing each other the same sack of rotten, smelly garbage every year on April Fool's day. The joke is in coming up with creative ways to have it delivered so the other person has to accept the package.
Does God have a problem with April Fool's Day? Probably not. After all, God doesn't mind us having fun-he likes it when we laugh and play. Of course, he's probably not happy when practical jokes become mean or destructive. But a joke is a joke. Kidding can be fun. The problem is, some people play "April Fool" every day. They say something cruel and then add, "Just kidding." Or they get caught in a lie and say, "I was only fooling." They don't seem to understand or they don't want to admit that there's a difference between kidding and lying.
Kidding and joking are intended to produce fun and laughter. But lying is intended to hurt or to deceive another person. These words from Scripture explain it well: "Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man whom deceives his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking!'" (Proverbs 26:18-19, NIV).
When you try to make someone believe something that isn't true, you're not only lying to that person, you're also sinning against God. And no matter who you may fool, you'll never fool God; he knows whether you're kidding-or lying.
So have fun on this April Fool's Day, but don't lie!
REFLECT: Look back at today's Bible reading (Acts 4:36-5:5). What do you think Ananias hoped to gain through his lie? Did it work? What kinds of jokes do you play on April Fool's Day? Are there any that shouldn't be part of your bag of tricks?
PRAY: "Lord, you are truth, and there is no deception in you. Help me to follow your ways closely."