Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hook, line, and sinker

God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
Stupid me. I can’t believe I bit.
When my cell phone rang Wednesday morning, a recorded message from my wireless carrier informed me that I had been chosen to receive a brand new iPad 2. Free.
I should have hung up as soon as I realized it was a recording. But I listened. Mistake number one. Visions of my son’s new iPad flashed through my mind. Grabbing a pencil, I scribbled down the website the recording told me to go to. It wouldn’t hurt to check it out, I thought. Mistake number two.
The problem with these so-called offers is they never tell you up front what you have to do to qualify. They disguise the hook with a big, fat, wriggling worm.
I visited the site, which asked me for my cell phone number. I complied. Mistake number three. Within seconds my cell phone rang. I had a text. It was my PIN so I could get my iPad. So I thought. I entered the PIN on the website. The next thing I knew, I’d inadvertently signed up to be a survey person for a “global survey” company. Then my cell phone rang again. Another text.  Somehow I had signed up to receive trivia via text messages daily for $9.99 a month.
I was able to unsubscribe to the trivia texts and the survey thing. You’d think by now I would have wised up and clicked out of the website. But I could see myself using that iPad. I continued filling out the online form, which consisted of offers and more surveys. I just clicked “no” to everything. The more I clicked, the more I wanted that iPad.
Page after page I clicked. Finally I came to the page that asked for my shipping information. I could taste that worm—I mean iPad. All I had to do is select two “Silver” offers. I’ll order the free kitchen knife, I thought. All I had to pay was $8.95 for shipping. But when I read further on the order form, I realized by ordering the “free” knife, I was signing up to receive one knife a month to the tune of $50 to $90. I clicked out of that page in a hurry.
All the other so-called offers were also memberships. But there was more. After I chose two Silver offers, I would have to select two Gold offers and a Platinum offer. My “free” iPad would have cost more in memberships (that are ridiculously hard to cancel) than if I had just purchased the iPad, which, by the way, retails for $500 online.
I clicked on the little blue “No Thanks” box. No iPad for me.
Sin is like that. It first appears like something good, something harmless—something we want—but if we’re not careful, we’re caught, hook, line and sinker.
It’s better just to click “no” in the first place.
When sin drops its juicy temptation in front of my face, Lord, give me wisdom to recognize it for what it is and the strength not to take that first nibble. Amen.

Special-Tea: Read James 1:14-18

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