An elderly widow goes to her local supermarket. This is nothing special because she does a lot of shopping there, but this day will not be like everyone else. As she pushes her shopping cart through the aisles, a well-dressed gentleman comes up to her, shakes her hand and says: “Congratulations! They have won. They are our thousandth customer and that's why they won a thousand euros! » The little older lady is overjoyed. »Yes» he says: »and if you want to increase your profit, you only have to give me € 1400 - for the processing fees - and your profit will increase to € 100.000.» What a gift! The 70-year-old grandmother doesn't want to miss this wonderful opportunity and says: "I don't have that much money with me, but I can quickly go home and get it". 'But that's a lot of money. Would you mind if I escorted you to your apartment to make sure nothing happened to you? » the Lord asks.
She thinks for a moment, but then agrees - after all, she's a Christian and God wouldn't let anything bad happen. The man is also very respectful and well-behaved, which she liked. They go back to their apartment, but it turns out that she doesn't have enough money at home. "Why don't we go to your bank and withdraw the money?" He offers. "My car is just around the corner, it won't be long." She agrees. Withdraws the money from the bank and gives it to the Lord. "Congratulations! Give me a moment I'll go and get your check from the car. » I certainly don't have to tell you the rest of the story.
It's a true story - the elderly lady is my mother. You shake your head in astonishment. How could she be so gullible? Every time I tell this story, there is someone who has already had a similar experience.
All shapes and sizes
Most of us have ever received an e-mail, text message or phone call to congratulate us on a win. All we have to do to win the prize is to share our credit card information. Such frauds come in all shapes, colors and sizes. As I write these words, a TV ad offers a miracle diet that promises a flat stomach within days. A pastor encourages his congregation to eat grass so that they are closer to God, and a group of Christians prepares once again for the return of Christ.
Then there are chain emails: "If you forward this email to five people within the next five minutes, your life will immediately be enriched in five ways." or "If you don't immediately forward this email to ten people, you will be out of luck for ten years."
Why do people fall victim to such ripoffs? How can we become more judgmental? Salomon helps us in Proverbs 14,15: »An unintelligible person believes everything; but a clever man takes care of his walk. » Being incomprehensible has to do with how we approach a particular situation and life in general.
We can trust too much. We can be impressed by the appearance of people. We can be very honest and trust that others are honest with us. A translation of the Bible passage says it like this: "Don't be stupid and believe everything you hear, be smart and know where you are going". Then there are the Christians who believe that if they only have enough trust in God everything will be for their best. Faith is good, but believing in the wrong person can be a disaster.
I recently saw a poster outside a church that said:
"Jesus came to take away our sins, not our minds." Wise people think. Jesus himself said, "and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12,30).
To take time
There are other factors that need to be considered: Excessive confidence in the ability to understand, judge, and of course greed also plays a big role. Sometimes easily believers make rash decisions and don't think about the consequences. “It's too late next week. Then someone else will have it, although I wanted it so much. »Planning a busy person brings plenty; but if you act too quickly, you will lack it » (Proverbs 21,5).
How many difficult marriages begin with a partner who urges others to marry faster than he or she wanted? Not to be gullible with Salomon's solution is to take the time to look at and rethink everything before making a decision:
- Think things through before acting. Too many people trust logically sounding ideas as logically thought-out ideas.
- Ask questions. Ask questions that go below the surface and help them understand.
- Searching for help. "Where there is no wise advice, the people perish; but where there are many advisors, help can be found » (Proverbs 11,14).
Important decisions are never easy. There are always hidden profound aspects below the surface that need to be found out and considered. We need other people who support us with their experience, expertise and practical help.
by Gordon Green