“Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for people who create divisions and problems against the teaching that you learned. Keep away from them. People like that aren’t serving the Lord. They are serving their own feelings. They deceive the hearts of innocent people with smooth talk and flattery.” (Romans 16:17-18 CEB)
Every now and then we hear about someone who has been cheated by a telemarketer or an online scammer. These criminals find ways to convince you that the IRS is after you, or that your computer has been compromised, or you have unpaid tickets on file. They try to get you to send them money— usually gift cards—to make these problems “go away.” These people purposely pray upon others by telling lies or exaggerations to benefit themselves.
There are also many people who tell tales or exaggerate things and do so because they don’t know any better or feel they are doing God’s work. They aren’t trying to hurt you or benefit themselves, but they believe that what they have been told about what God wants from us is true. Many even quote the Bible as proof.
We must always be careful to listen with our heads as well as our hearts, and to judge things based upon what Jesus has taught us, for He will never lead us astray.