How to keep from being “ripped off” (Practical advice from the Bible)

It seems like there is a crook behind every bush – someone who is trying to take advantage of others and rip them off! The “fine print” stuff and marketing ruses designed to take advantage of people today keep attorneys general and consumer advocacy groups very busy. What to do? How to stay on top of it all and avoid being the target of all this stuff!

Believe me, I don’t have the total answer, but I do have a practical answer based upon the teaching of God’s word! It may seem simplistic and naïve, but on more than one occasion it has worked for me (as well as many other God-fearing people) and kept me from a personal disaster…

The suggestion – the recommendation I have to offer based upon God’s word… Pray about it – seek God’s direction and guidance before you sign a contract or make a major decision! Then listen to what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying to your spirit. (You can call that “intuition” if you want to, but I believe it is more than that!) On more than one occasion it has kept me out of trouble and from a painful experience. And on more occasions than I’d like to admit, I only wish that I had followed my own advice! 😉

The story in the Bible that I read this morning during “Coffee with the Lord” that prompted this reflection? It’s found in Joshua 9… Israel’s neighbors (and enemies) – the Gibeonites – had heard the mighty things God had done for His people in laying claim to the Promised Land. They were fearful, so they developed a ruse, and went to Joshua and the other leaders intent on deceiving them and winning an agreement of “peaceful coexistence” (which the Lord had forbidden). They dressed in old, worn out clothes, and brought old, dry, moldy provisions and acted the part of needy people from a distant land… and appealed for a treaty. The leaders of Israel fell for it!

This is what the Bible says… “The Israelites sampled their provisions BUT DID NOT INQUIRE OF THE LORD! Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them… and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by an oath… Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were their neighbors, living near them!”

So here’s a bit of practical advice today from God’s word… Before you sign the contract, or make a major purchase, or commit to a course of action that has significant implications for your future… Pray about it! Seek the counsel of God’s word! And listen to your heart! Gonna seek to follow my own advice today! Think things will go better!

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