So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Thoughts for Today:I received an email recently. It seems a doctor from Nairobi is having trouble getting money out of his country and into the United Kingdom where he now lives. If only I would give him my bank account information he could have millions of dollars wired to me and I could then wire the money to him, less of course the 10 percent fee he would happily pay me for helping him out. I got another one. This time the poor and unfortunate person had a lot of sales in the United States but didn't have a bank account in which to deposit the checks. If I would only give him access to my account (all perfectly safe and legal he assured me), then once the money was deposited I could forward on to him the balance each month, less my 10 percent fee. Sounds pretty good doesn't it? Make thousands of dollars every month for doing nothing. But we all know something that sounds too good to be true usually is.
Despite the fact we've heard, seen, and been warned of various scams over the years, it never ceases to amaze me at how many people continue to be victimized by them. I wish it were true that all people who claim to be Christians conducted their lives in harmony with Biblical values, but let's face it -- some of the most devastating scams and spiritual deceptions have been perpetrated by one professed Christian taking advantage of another. How does it happen? Because the victimized Christian forgot to heed Paul's warning: "Be on your guard!" Paul's point was just because someone claims to be a Christian doesn't necessarily mean everything they teach, say or do will be in keeping with Biblical principles. Paul was very passionate about this subject; in fact he goes on to say, "Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears."
Questions to Ponder:In 1939 comedian W.C. Fields starred in a movie titled, "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man." Although the title of this movie and some degree of life experience would indicate that a larcenous or greedy heart is necessary to be cheated, in Christian circles many times vulnerability has nothing do with anything other than having a compassionate, generous, and loving nature. Paul is instructing us to be careful and on guard so the wolves of this world do not prey upon us.
Is there an area of your life in which you should apply this teaching? Have you assumed someone is honest and forthright just because they attend your church? We have been given the spiritual gifts of discernment and wisdom. Are you applying those gifts appropriately? Have you become susceptible to false teachings? How can you guard yourself appropriately while continuing to model the example of Jesus?