“Divine Fraud Detector”
A few years ago I got a call from the fraud department that supports my VISA card.
“Mr. Naylor, we’d like you to confirm a couple of expenses that were recently charged to your account.” Whenever I hear those words I take a deep breath. I wonder what grabbed their attention.
Did you have lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s on McGalliard in Muncie last Friday? “Yes, I did.” I answered, remembering the salad bar and chicken sandwich I ordered. “Good,” said the nice lady from the fraud department. “Later that day did you purchase two first class tickets on Delta Airlines from New York City to Paris?” It did not take long for me to respond, “Definitely not!”
Somewhere in the digital cloud there was a computer algorithm that discerned that I was a Ruby Tuesday kind of guy who liked salad bars and chicken sandwiches but not the kind of guy who flies first class to Paris. I was immensely grateful that the fraud division of my bank brought this issue to my attention.
We all need fraud detectors in today’s wired world.
We also need a fraud detector in our personal lives. In particular we need someone close enough to us to say: “How can you even think about doing what you’re thinking of doing?”
We need at least one person who knows us well enough to call us out. The leadership landscape is littered with top drawer CEO’s, coaches, politicians and high-profile Pastors who didn’t have such a person to confront them when they knew they were in need of being confronted when tempted to cross the line.
These cataclysmic falls from grace are a continuing reminder that perhaps, far more than we imagine, we often do not see our own behavior or discern the limitations of our own thinking unless a mentor is there to tell the truth. I am convinced we all need someone in our lives who will be such a trusted friend that will speak the truth to us when we need to see what we don’t want to see about our actions.
Proverbs 24:26 states: “An honest answer is sweet to the lips.” In other word, honesty is the key to friendship.
VISA hates fraud because it hurts the bottom line.
We need to despise our own moral, ethical and spiritual phoniness that has the capacity to damage not just our own lives but everyone else.
Ask God to provide you with one of life’s greatest treasures–a friend who is not afraid to love you enough to call out “fraud” when they see you going the dishonest direction.
We all need that kind of loving friend.
Ron Naylor, Chaplain