The Ultimate Con-Man
In 2002, “Catch Me if You Can,” a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, mesmerized audiences and took home multiple awards and accolades. The film translates Frank Abagnale’s memoir of forging checks, taking on numerous professional identities, and traveling worldwide eluding the FBI. According to his memoir, as a teenager, Frank pretended to be a pilot for Pan American airlines, a doctor in Georgia, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a professor at Brigham Young University. In addition to that, Frank claims to have stolen over $2 million by writing counterfeit checks in over 26 countries. All of this as a teenager and while being chased by the FBI.
However, after watching the film, science journalist Alan C. Logan was skeptical and decided to look further into the matter. What he discovered blew his mind, and decided to publish his findings in a book titled “The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can.” Alan found that the true story of Frank Abagnale’s life was more of a mish-mash of some truth and lots of fiction. It turns out that Frank did pose as a TWA (Trans World Airlines) pilot, but only for a few weeks. After befriending flight attendant Paula Parks and her family, he takes advantage of them, stealing about $1,200 by using their blank checks. and ended up in jail.
In the years that followed, Frank continued stealing and getting arrested but his life changed was when a parole officer recommended telling his story of being transformed. Frank thought it was a great idea and went with it. However, in time, his original tale evolved and morphed into something different and more exotic that people became mesmerized by this embellished story. Eventually, Frank wrote a best-selling book adapted into the Spielberg film and a Broadway play. Despite being debunked many times in newspapers, TV, and online, Frank continues sticking to his story.
Frank’s tale is a reminder of how today’s society lives with a “post-truth” ideology. Many think that if “I believe something enough to be true, then it is.” However, there is only one truth that exists, and that’s the word of God. Regardless of whether people choose to believe it or not, God’s word is inerrant. God’s word clearly tells us who we are and our purpose. Knowing this, the enemy, the ultimate “con-man,” constantly puts out counterfeit information for those seeking this truth.
Answer and Journal the Following
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Pray for the Spirit to give you discernment and guide you to live according to truth found in God’s word .
Meditate / Memorize:
Determine how you will start reading and studying God’s word on a daily basis. What’s your plan of action?
Share what you’ve learned with someone else.