July 19, 2019
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
The morning conversation started something like this:
Husband: B, did you purchase tile?
Husband: Bianca, did you purchase $6,000 worth of tile flooring?
Me: Do I look like the woman who would purchase $6,000 worth of flooring tile?! You must not know me at all. Now, if that was $6,000 worth of shoes, then maybe I would own that. But tile? No way, José!
After 9,274,104 phone calls to our credit card company, the payment was reversed and we had to file identity theft charges.
The ironic part of the whole situation was that I didn’t even flinch when Matt asked me about the charges. I have been a victim of identity theft four separate times, and with each time, the purchases got more and more comical.
The round-trip tickets and Caribbean vacation getaway? Not me. Sixteen charges at the local superstore and Cracker Barrel restaurant? Nope, definitely not me. The Domino’s Pizza order totaling over $350? Yup, not me either. So when the charges of flooring tile hit the credit card, I didn’t even flinch.
I’ve gone through this before. It's nothing new. It will not change who I am.
We’re told that Jesus warns of identity theft. Yes, that’s right. Even before the World Wide Web existed, our early church fathers had to deal with the same drama. John 10:10 says Jesus told His followers the thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy, but He comes to bring life — abundant life.
If you’ve never been a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft, I’ll tell you that it’s horrible. Your ability to know and defend the truth is stolen. Your credit is killed. Your reputation destroyed. Steal. Kill. Destroy.
In the same way, the enemy of this world seeks after our identity daily. The warning Jesus gave His followers is the same one I echo today: Be careful! There are people, things and temptations that will lure you away from the real you. Your true identity must be forged in concrete, unwavering in doubt.
The problem is that sometimes we don’t know our spiritual credit score. We aren’t aware of who is taking advantage of us, or how. Worse yet, we don’t even know who we are or how we got to where we are.
It’s convoluted and complicated and contrived. I understand. I’ve heard women tell me, “I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve completely lost myself and my identity.” Listen to me; we’ve all been there. For real.
But instead of talking about what we don’t know, why don’t we focus on what we do know? If you lose your way and spiritual amnesia robs you of memory, hold on to the simple fact that if all else fails — you get divorced, you lose a child, you lose your job, you break up with a partner — when you know Jesus, you are still a child of God.
I love how The Message translation states John 10:10, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
The tropical vacation with copious amounts of Cracker Barrel carbohydrates and $6,000-flooring tile pales in comparison to the life that Christ wants to give us. And the best news? Nobody can steal your identity as a child of God, and nobody can steal the eternal life you have in Christ.
Dear God Almighty, we believe You are the one who forges our identity. We know our identity is in You, and no one can steal that from us. Today, we thank You for giving us abundant life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (NIV)
Do you ever feel like your life sucks? Stop dreaming about your future, and start building the life you want today! In Bianca Olthoff’s newest book, How To Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want to Be Tomorrow, she uses her biblical knowledge, modern insight and honest sass to serve up some truth on life, relationships and growing up. Get your copy here TODAY!
Stay connected with Bianca at future speaking events, or follow along through social media adventures! You can follow her journey daily online.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Have you ever felt like your identity was stolen? What did you do to get it back, and which verse helped remind you of whose you are? We want to hear from you in the comments!
© 2019 by Bianca Olthoff. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 19 July 2019.