Suckers, Liars, and Con Artist

I am an observer of people and I watch and listen to what people say and do. I haven’t always been an observer of people, but I became one when I was in my early twenties and accompanied an acquaintance to a carnival where I ended up losing my paycheck to a carnie who ran a gambling tent on the grounds. My acquaintance assured me I would get my money back from the operator if I got other people involved in the game. I got other people involved, but I, and they, were taken to the cleaners. When I left the carnival grounds that day my pockets had been picked so clean there wasn’t even a trace of lint in them. But despite losing my hard earned money to a couple of con men; I learned a lesson from my fleecing I have never forgotten. More importantly, I learned to listen to the words people say beyond the words I hear coming out of their mouth. Do you know people do more talking with their body than they do with their mouth? A persons actions doesn’t lie. They may lie with their mouth, but they cannot be untrue to themselves. What is in their heart is openly displayed in their actions. The problem we have is we have eyes, but we deny what we see. We have ears, but we deny what we hear. The con is able to take what belongs to us because we want to believe what we hear more than we believe what we see. There is an old saying, “If something sounds to good to be true, it usually is.”

Albeit, when the things people do line up with what they say – hang with that person because they are a friend in deed. But if what they are saying doesn’t line up with the things they do; get away from them as fast as you can because they will take something of great value from you that you can’t afford to give away. The people you know fall into one of two categories. They either want something from you and will tell you what you want to hear in order to get whatever it is they want, or, they are adding to your life to build you up and make you a stronger person for having known them. Let me tell you, there are far more people in that first category than there are in the second. If you are fortunate enough to know one or two people who want to add to your life and take nothing away from it – you are a very fortunate person. Treat them right and you will have a friend for life. Hurt them, and you will be the sorry one. Which leads me to ask this question: What kind of person are you? Are you a giver, or a taker? Are you the person who is adding to someone’s life, or are you only befriending them to take something from them when the appropriate time arises? Friendship, like marriage, are suppose to be built on trust, but the sad truth is very few relationships are. And the reason that is true is because most people are not trustworthy.  That is why we have so many divorces in this country. People cheating on their boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses is as common in the church as it is among those who do not believe. These things were able to get a toe hold in the church because few people understand, “It is what we do that tells other people what kind of a person we are.” Jesus told His followers, “If we have eyes to see and ears to hear; we will know people by their actions.” But the truth is most people have eyes, but they are blind, they have ears, but they are deaf. These are the people the con artist is looking for because they are easy pickings. It’s not enough to know we are the target of the con artist, or that we must live in a state of constant awareness. We must be able to look beyond a person’s  exterior, their dress, their charm, their charisma, if we want to understand what motivates them to do the things they do.

As you know, scam artist are everywhere. They are on the internet, in the financial districts, in banks, in businesses, in churches, in elected positions of government; and all of them are looking for vulnerable people to con. And let me tell you, “There are some very enterprising con artists in this world who has been blessed with a silver tongue who will tell you what you want to hear until they get what they want from you, then you never see them again.” They are not after things that have no value; they are after your most precious jewels; ie, your fortune, your good name, your reputation; and, they not only mean to take something from you; they mean for their works to destroy you.

Taking something from a person by deceit isn’t a new concept. Con artist have been around since the beginning of time, and the first sucker to fall for one of their schemes was Eve, the wife of Adam, back in the Garden of Eden. She bought Lucifer’s lies, aka, the serpent: hook, line and sinker, and then sold Adam on the idea. The result: It cost her and Adam their beautiful home, their livlihood, and their lordship over the earth. They lost their glory, their relationship with their creator, and most of all the con they fell for eventually cost them their physical lives. And people have been falling for the convincing lies of silver tongued devils ever since. A wise man named Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The only thing that changes in this world is each succeeding generation of people on it. The devil doesn’t have any new ideas, he just adds a new twist to his originals from time to time and people keep falling for his cons even though they are told about them in the bible. He has been here since the beginning, and with each new generation that arises a new generation of suckers are ripe for the picking. P.T. Barnum may have said it best when he said, “There is a sucker born every minute.” Meaning, whatever a sucker possesses can be taken from them, and all it takes is a distraction and a little convincing by the con artist that he has something better to offer than what we presently have. Sometimes just our money is taken, at other times a person loses their reputation, their good name, and in return they receive a broken promise, a broken relationship, and a damaged soul. People who steal your personal property are not the one’s you have to look out for because stolen property can be replaced, but when someone destroys your trust, or your relationship with them, that hurt damages the soul of a person, and your soul cannot be healed with medicine that only numbs it. It takes a loving God to heal a person with a damaged soul and only then if we are willing to forgive the perpretrator. All too often people blame other people for what happens to them, but the truth is you cannot be conned unless you want to be conned. I know that sounds pretty hard, but if someone has conned you, they were able to do so because you wanted to believe them rather than listen to them. If you want to stop being hurt, watch what people do and you won’t fall for their lies. A tiger cannot change its stripes and a liar cannot stop telling lies, but you can know when people are lying to you by watching what they do in similar circumstances. If they lied to someone in front of you, they will lie to you in front of someone else. So if you want to avoid being conned and being hurt by those you know; open your eyes and ears and analyze the information they give you and you will know who you can believe. DThrash


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