“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men…” Proverb 2:12
When I was younger I don’t think as many people were as wary as they are today of being scammed. There wasn’t the internet and email – telling us about our cousin trapped over in Africa and needing $50 sent to him. Calling long distance and even making calls across town used to cost money. So bulk calling 1,000s of old ladies each day and frightening them into giving up their entire savings just wasn’t as prevalent. Don’t get me wrong, there were still plenty of snake oil salesmen. It just took more effort.
For as long ago as Adam and Eve decided to forego God’s admonishment not to listen to the first slippery, silver-tongued creature, we humans have been subjected to all manner of men and women who want to lighten our wallets, steal our vote, abuse us in some way, gain power and authority over us.
According to psychology researcher Roy Baumeister, the majority of “evil doers” are really just people who tend to minimize the harmful impact of what they are doing or rationalize their reasons. They often see their action as much less of a big deal than the impact experienced from the victim’s point of view. Many of these folks may even see themselves as the victims – of society, their upbringing, their financial situation, etc. They “deserve” what they are bilking out of you.
God shows us through His wisdom, using patience, prudence, discernment, how to avoid the ways of those who want to take advantage of us. You know the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” I have a friend who once lost money to a phone scammer who wanted to help her save on her phone bill. All sorts of bells and whistles were going off in her head during the conversation – the Holy Spirit warning her with God’s wisdom! But her desire for a “deal” was stronger.
Large churches have imploded once enough people in the congregation finally started to heed God’s warning to be wise. Realizing their shepherd was more concerned about their ego or their pocketbook than their job of caring for their flock.
Friends, if it sounds too good, it probably is. If it’s not aligned with scripture you need to be wary. If it whispers to your more sinful side you need to turn to God. His Words will keep you from the ways of the wicked.
Father, the wicked ways of this world attack me each day. Help me have a wise and discerning mind so that I can remain safe with you. Amen