The first time I got one of those emails it was quite exciting. I was being offered the opportunity to make a life-changing amount of money simply by helping a poor war widow from Africa to gain access to her late husband’s estate. All they needed was to use my bank account for a few transactions.
I felt privileged that they had selected me, and they were being so generous. The amount of money they were going to give me was life-changing. All I had to do was give them my bank details.
Something didn’t seem right, though. I couldn’t help wondering how they had got hold of my contact details and why they had selected me. So I didn’t reply immediately.
I’m glad I waited because the next day I got another email. It seems that I had won the Spanish Lottery – 49 million Euros! All I had to do to claim my prize was confirm my identity by sending them my bank details.
I was about to send an email in reply when I stopped. ‘Hold on,’ I thought, ‘I didn’t enter the Spanish Lottery.’
So I didn’t reply to that one either.
Two days later I had an email from a lady called ‘Gloria’ who was interested in getting to know me better. She was currently living overseas and looking to move to the UK, and wondered whether I might be interested in helping her out by marrying her to make it possible for her to get a visa. She said she would be VERY grateful and had money to give me which would make it worth my while.
I was less interested this time. Partly because I was not sure that my wife would be very understanding about it.
So I didn’t reply.
I started getting a lot more emails after that. I was offered lots of opportunities to buy shares in companies because the person had some inside knowledge, more opportunities to launder money, lots of women who wanted to be my friends, and I won more times than I can count on the Spanish Lottery.
I ignored them all.
Instead I installed a spam filter in my email inbox and I don’t get bothered by them anymore.
In what ways is the same way that we treat the spam email scammers similar to the ways that church outreach is treated by people who don’t go to church? Why do you think that is?
Do people install a ‘church filter’? How can we better communicate the truth that following Jesus is first and foremost about receiving God’s grace rather than what you can give or do?
Be blessed, be a blessing.