"As sheep in the midst of wolves"

The United States Government, as well as some public-spirited and right-minded civic organizations, is printing pamphlets and articles intended to warn discharged veterans about the many swindles that are being practiced on the unsuspecting. A résumé of one of these pamphlets, entitled "Gyps and Swindles," printed by the Public Affairs Committee, appeared in The Christian Science Monitor of October 20, 1945. This contained timely and sound advice, the gist of which was that "many a soldier has in his pockets his back pay, plus travel expenses to his home, plus part of his mustering-out pay." Therefore, he needs to be alert against "smooth, well-dressed" strangers who offer on attractive terms plausible schemes that are intended to make him rich overnight.

A perusal of this Monitor or article started the writer, himself a veteran, wondering whom he could trust, and how he or anyone else might make wise investments of accumulated savings. Immediately he recalled the occasion when Jesus was sending his twelve disciples on a preaching and healing mission. After the Master had told these men where they should go and what they should carry with them on their journey, he gave them profound counsel, including this sharp warning: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men."

The thinker must acknowledge that these words have lost none of their power and pertinence for having been uttered over nineteen hundred years ago, and that they are as applicable to the returning veteran as to Jesus' twelve disciples. If discharged servicemen and servicewomen have considerable savings that they desire to invest wisely, and if they are alert to the spiritual fact that the man of God's creating is ever about his Father's business, they need have no fear of becoming the dupes of crafty grafters and criminals. They must, however, abstain from arrogance, from attempts to make their way without God's help, without their Shepherd, for therein lies the danger.

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February 9, 1946

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