About a month ago, I realized my back-up hard drive (which you don’t realize you need until you have a total-loss hard-drive crash) was completely full so I knew I had to up my terabyte game and get a new larger one. I went to the web site of a popular electronics store, signed into my account, and put one into the cart. My account, by the way, has a store card attached to it for easy transactions.
But I then decided that I should just go to their local store and buy one that day to not take any chances (see above parenthetical phrase for my reasoning). So an hour later and a few miles driven, I had a new drive backing me up once again with plenty of space.
Fast forward to 2 Friday nights ago. At about 10:30 pm, I get an email from the retail electronics chain, thanking me for my order that I just placed. According to the order, I had just purchased a thumb drive, a movie, a video game…all to be picked up by me at the local store. But then the last item was a Macbook Pro to be picked up at a store in southern California. All to the tune of $1900 charged on my store card.
I immediately called their customer service and within about 3 minutes had the order turned in as fraud and my credit card canceled. Criminal activity thwarted.
How did this happen? Was I just the victim of evil in the world, looking for opportunity on a day and time most people aren’t paying attention? Well, yes, sort of. Was I the victim of a web system that needs more encryption detection or fraud protection? Well, yes, maybe.
But here’s the bottom line truth: It was my fault. I left my cart open, signed into my account with my credit card connected. The hacker was into their system looking for open carts and there was mine. (Psst, hey buddy! Over here! My owner is an idiot! Yeah, open card and everything, right here!) Had I done what I know you should do and always sign out when you’re done, that particular hacker could never have broken into my account.
All too often when sin enters our lives we blame everything from evil to the innocent when the bottom line is we are the ones that left the door open and made it very easy for temptation to connect to sin. We stayed signed in, if you will.
Paul told us that Jesus always gives us the opportunity to sign out of our accounts and close the door, shutting the cart down to evil.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way [to sign] out so that you can endure. —1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT (words and emphasis added)