My husband received two phone calls in a row this afternoon, but “Scam Likely” popped up on his phone screen, so he did not bother to answer. I realize that sort of thing happens to many of us many times.
I heard about a scam that claimed to be a way to donate to help the war victims in Ukraine. Someone was skillful in inventing this fraud very soon after the invasion began,
A lady I used to work with told me how her mother was scammed and lost $2,000 because she thought she was helping her grandson who had supposedly been arrested. Whoever had phoned the solicitous elderly grandma was very convincing.
How upsetting to think about people with clever imaginations and creative story-telling ability who selfishly use their talents to perpetrate evil trickery for their financial gain!
Have you ever watched television episodes that show in detail how an evil person can go to great lengths to outsmart victims to make a profit or get revenge for a past encounter? Whether the stories are true or not, it is evident that many people have extremely creative minds that can be used in terrible ways.
So what about our creativity? What about those gifts and talents God has given us? Are we supposed to use our talents and gifts to spread evil for selfish pursuits? What kind of example does that provide for others? We know the answers Jesus would give. We, ourselves know what is overtly evil, but we have to be on the lookout for rationalizations we might excuse or oversights we could lazily ignore.
Creativity involves planning and personal touches. Creativity gives life and love. We read in the Bible that we are made in Creator God’s image, so with that comes accountability. We know we should use our God-given talents with love in mind. I suggest a “DSD” day every now and then: a day during which we do something different to spread God’s love. We might phone folks we don’t see too often just to wish them well, perhaps share good wishes, or tell them of a little blessing we have experienced recently. Instead of a “scam likely” it will be “love likely.”
Creativity is often spontaneous. I saw a lady I did not know wearing a very pretty shirt, and I casually went up to her and complimented her. It brought a smile to her face—love likely. That is just a simple example, but there certainly are much bigger issues that can challenge us to invent loving solutions. Daily prayer to the Holy Spirit can be helpful.
St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 12:6-8 is a good passage with which to pray:
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us examine
them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a
teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Come, Holy Spirit! Help us to interact with our brothers and sisters so that they will know what we are doing is love…likely!
Photograph by Jon Tyson on Upslash.
Scripture passage is from The CatholicStudy Bible: New American Bible, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.