Identity Theft

Studies show that there were more than 12 Million Identity Fraud Victims in 2012 and the fraudsters stole more than $21 billion. As consumers who use modern technology we are told to exercise continued vigilance. You might think identity theft is something new, something that came about with technology, it is not. Identity theft has been going on ever since Satan first tempted Adam and Eve. You too may have had your identity stolen, let’s investigate.

If we want to know if our identity has been stolen, we must first know what our real identity is. Our true identity is quite clear. We are first and foremost Children of God and as Christians we are Disciples of Jesus Christ. The question is this; if the identity theft investigators were gathering evidence, what identity would they discover us to have?

If we are mature Christians we should desire to have God first in our lives and we should seek to have our will conform to His will. This can be a real challenge for us while living in this world. In Mark’s Gospel we read this: “The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

What I am saying today is that we need to have ORDER in our lives and that the proper ORDER is to have our lives centered on doing the will of our Heavenly father. God had this to say.

“I, the Lord, am your God. You shall have no other gods before me.”

God desires for us to have joy in our lives and He knew that if we put other gods before Him we would not experience that joy. The difficult question for many of us is do we trust in God enough to allow Him to guide and orient our identity? If we have trust and put God first we will find true freedom and joy.

I am suggesting that many of us are disordered. We have arranged our priorities so that the wrong items are at the top of our list and we identify ourselves incorrectly. Said differently our true identity has been stolen.

Do you all remember the extremely popular Rubik’s Cube? Since hitting the store shelves in 1980, over 350 million cubes have been sold. In a classic Rubik’s Cube, each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers, each of one of six solid colors: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. In other words there is a specific order that must be achieved. There are endless variations of the wrong order, with the colors mixed up on the wrong sides of the cube; however there is only one way to solve the puzzle. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be returned to consisting of one color. This is the PROPER ORDER. In this same way, I believe that our lives are made up of various puzzle pieces and in order to be the way God, our creator, designed us to be, we should always strive to make sure our order is correct.

Unfortunately we too often place the emphasis of our identify either on what we do for a living or on our lifestyle. One example might be if I define myself like this: “Hi I am Brian I am writer”, or you might say “Hi I am _______ ; a doctor, nurse, secretary, scientist, engineer, factory worker,  machinist, plumber, contractor, carpenter, etc. what we do for a living is not who we are, it’s what we do. While Jesus is known for having been a Nazarene and a carpenter, His real identity is SON OF GOD AND SAVIOR OF THE WORLD! In the news today, we see countless examples of people identifying themselves by their lifestyles when they identify who they are by their sexual orientation. While one’s sexual orientation is an important facet of their life it should never be the defining description as to who they are.

Once we reorder our lives and recapture our true identity as children of God and Disciples of Jesus Christ, we can prioritize our daily activities better. If our true identity has been stolen or at least it is out of proper order, most likely the things we do each day will be focused on whatever we have put at the top of our identity list and not on God.

Please reflect on these three questions:

Where do I spend my time?

Where do I spend my thoughts?

Where do I spend my actions?

 Your answer to these questions will no doubt drive what items you place at the top of your identity list. Any time we find ourselves drifting from our commitment to put God first in our lives, we should stop and catch ourselves and re-evaluate our priorities in order to recapture our God given identity. Sometimes we say we want to give our lives to our Lord, yet we do little more than give lip service to it.

Where is your relationship with God at this time in your life? Be completely truthful, do you give God each day the proper attention He deserves? If not, what needs to change? Perhaps if we began every day in prayer and concluded every day with an examination of conscience we could evaluate if and when we are out of order and determine if our identity has been compromised.

The relentless pursuit of worldly things can cause us to become disordered. Take a minute and reflect on these Bible verses:

“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money].”

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself”

 I have attached a tool to help you determine if your Christian Identity has been stolen. Maybe you can see this as the Christian version of LifeLock®. Please click on this “Identity Theft Recovery Worksheet“. Take just a few moments right now to work on this exercise. If you discover your identity has been hacked, ask God to help you get it back to the way He wants it to be. Once you have completed the exercise, I suggest that you revisit your lists during your prayer time over the next 30 days.

Dear Heavenly Father, please send forth your Holy Spirit to direct my priorities and to keep my life in the proper order. Please don’t allow things in this life to distract me from seeing me as anything other than your child, one made in your image and called to bring others to your son, Jesus Christ, amen!

Brian Pusateri
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