Scams and other damaging deceptions

By Sandra Sheridan

Proverbs 4:23 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”

I don’t know of anyone who truly loves to be scammed. Even the smallest of deceptions can be annoying. But when it’s something big, real problems can set in.

Recently while preparing for a mother/daughter trip, I searched online for a hotel in which Emily and I could stay for two nights. I quickly located what I thought was the appropriate website, called the number, and proceeded to set up a reservation. Unfortunately, the next day I realized that I needed to change my reservation and called the number back to rearrange things. I was greeted by a voice with an unfamiliar accent and the disturbing news that my reservation was non-refundable.

I tried to explain that I was still going to stay at the hotel but needed to make some minor changes. Again, the voice insisted I could not and my money was forfeited. The conversation escalated and after suggesting my concern that the attendant was not legitimate, I heard a click on the other end of the phone, and my stomach dropped. I could hardly believe I had been foolish enough to be scammed. Conversations with the credit card company and the bank finally resolved things, and thankfully I got my money back. But it was a hard lesson to learn and one which will cause me to be much more careful when purchasing online.

Scams are a great danger in this day and age, but there are other kinds of deceptions that can sneak up on us unawares. When we are not careful we can trick ourselves into believing certain things are okay when they are not. How many times have we been watching a TV show or a movie that contained questionable content, but told ourselves that if we keep watching it will get better? Or rationalized that this particular movie isn’t as bad as some?

What about when someone is sharing a juicy piece of gossip and we convince ourselves that we want to help or maybe pray for the person? Illicit relationships with the opposite sex can be “opportunities” to share the Gospel some may say. Damaging bursts of anger may be considered self-defense in a difficult situation. Over time we become desensitized to these tricks of the mind and our heart becomes calloused to sinful behavior. We begin to believe that everything is okay when it isn’t.

This is the ultimate scam of our enemy, the devil, and why God’s word tells us to watch over our hearts with all diligence. Our whole life – physical, emotional, and spiritual – will be affected by the decisions we make for from our heart flows the wellspring of life.

So take a lesson from me! Everyone is at risk of being deceived! If you do not guard your heart carefully you will very likely face dire consequences … consequences that are even greater and more devastating than the ones you will face if deceived by a hotel scam.



By Sandra Sheridan

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at