United Church of Christ

Scammers vs. Holy Spirit

“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” - Matthew 10:16 (NRSV)

Let me begin by saying, please do not send me any $400 gift cards! I mention this because recently hundreds of people received a fake email that purported to be from me but in reality it was the work of an anonymous scammer trying to separate goodhearted folks from their money.

Apparently, this gift card hoax has happened to many other pastors and congregations. There are versions of the scam where the email appears to come from your boss at work or an emergency phone call pretends to be on behalf of a family member in trouble while traveling.

So what is the moral of the story?

Don’t buy gift cards for anyone who is not on your Christmas list.

That email scam really dimmed my spirits for a few days, but then I thought about all the people who use technology for good things, like teaching, learning, loving, and worshiping. During Covid-19, there have been so many shining examples of goodness via technology in our churches and beyond. For every scammer, there are a thousand more people who are staying connected with God and each other, no matter the distance.

So don’t let the sleazy scammers get you down, my dear church family. The Holy Spirit is much more powerful.

And yes, this devotional really is from me. No, really, it is! Honestly, I can prove it. I’ll just go get my credit card and in the meantime, my social security number is…

Prayer
Dear God, grant me wisdom as well as innocence in the wilds of this technological world.

Lillian Daniel About the Author
Lillian Daniel is a preacher, teacher and writer in Iowa who aspires to be a shepherdess on the green.

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