A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true. Demosthenes
There’s a sucker born every minute. P. T. Barnum
We are inclined to believe those whom we don not know because they have never deceived us. Samuel Johnson
Most of us have experienced being too gullible at various points in our lives. We found ourselves believing in something that was “too good to be true,” a “free lunch”, “something for nothing” or in someone’s “song and dance story” when we knew better.
The younger and more inexperienced we are the more likely we find ourselves giving in to enticing temptation and facing the perils of gullibility. The older we get, supposedly the wiser we get, and the expectation is our increased wisdom provides us a level of protection preventing or at least minimizing our proneness to gullibility. The truth is that we are never totally protected or exempt from foolish decisions. They happen to everyone from time to time. It is part of the human condition. The person who never performs a gullible act is likely cursed with acute cynicism, negativity, and pessimism. If it is better to err one way or the other, falling prey to occasional gullibility is likely better than living life as an extreme skeptic or chronic doubter.
Those who never take chances or risks are more or less cursed to largely stay where they are in life. The adage that you get out of life what you put into it says it very well. Another adage that says if you always do things the same way as you always have, you will always get the same results as you always have. There may be fine lines or balances between gullibility and skepticism as well as between success and failure. Somewhere in the middle is probably a good place to be. We find ourselves with decisions to make and having to evaluate circumstances to the best of our abilities. Based on our findings we either decide to take a calculated risk for the potential of a worthwhile reward or we decide on the status quo and taking no risks to be the better choice. The potential reward may not warrant the risk or the probability of failure. Gullibility often comes into play when we stop short of doing our homework or performing due diligence before we make a decision to go forward.
Gullibility can be equated to a foolish decision. We want something to be true so badly we take a chance and make a decision that is less than wise. There are things that are worse than sometimes being a little too gullible.
Challenge: Have you ever been gullible? Replay some of your more gullible moments. What were the conditions? What was your motive or reasons for pursuing something or making a decision to go forward? What is to help someone; was it greed; what was it? Did you get suckered? These things do happen. Did you believe in someone who took advantage of you? This happens. Chances are now you are not nearly as gullible as you once were.
Wisdom: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Abraham Lincoln
Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth, and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Ecclesiastes 11:1
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
God expects us to be generous, kind and good. He also, asks us to avoid greed. He is concerned about our attitude and willingness to help others without any expectation of getting anything in return. The story of the Good Samaritan is an example of how God wants us to be. He asks us to be forgiving of others without end. He tells us that the manner in which we act and treat others is largely the way we will be treated by others in return.
Prayer: Help me to overcome my selfish ways and to learn to have a more loving and giving attitude.