E-Hoaxes

Poisonous levels of lead in leading lipsticks… Generous philanthropists willing to share their rich bank accounts to you… Virus to wipe away your hard disk… Yahoo! (or Google, MSN, or whatever) about to shutdown unless… Name it. I think I received it in my inbox.

Since e-mail caught our fancy, we all got our share of junk mails or spam. Some of it you can delete immediately. Then, you saw the picture and read the story of a child dying of a rare disease. You learn that Microsoft will donate an x amount of money for every forwarded e-mail. Thus, you are tempted to click on “forward” to send it to all your contacts. Don’t.

Let me tell you a secret. Before I forward something, I usually check a website dedicated on busting what they call “urban legends” or simply hoaxes sent through e-mail.

What’s the harm there? Well, other than clogging people’s inbox, you are making yourself and your friends vulnerable to identity theft. You might one day find your inbox clogged with more junk mails. Some unscrupulous people called “spammers” might just be collecting e-mail addresses so they can add it to their list of targets for spam. Worse, if you gave more personal information, you will receive a billing for expensive items you did not buy.

It’s the same with whatever we hear that has the label “truth.” We have to double-check it with the Bible. Luke in Acts called the Bereans noble for “they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things were true.” (17:11, Contemporary English Version) Only the truth sets us free. So we better make sure what we got is the real thing. Lies will always harm us. Thus, Paul commanded us: “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, NIV)
We have to be discerning so that whatever we believe and live, whatever we say and do, would be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Brethren, let us only forward the truth that sets people free!

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