The High Cost of Identity Theft
Early in 2016, I woke one morning to find that our cars had been broken into and the contents stolen. The police told us there was little hope of finding the thieves. A couple months passed, and one day as I paid our bills, I noticed unusual activity on our checking account. I saw three checks had been processed showing my wife, Kelli, had apparently given various amounts to different women, all for cash. When I asked her about it, she didn’t know what I was talking about. She didn’t know the women and hadn’t written the checks. Investigation proved Kelli was a clear victim of identity fraud and the target was our modest bank account. Thieves forged her signature using documents stolen from our car, and reproduced it on forged checks using information they had acquired through their scheme.
Those who stole my wife’s identity did so to claim stuff that didn’t belong to them. To them, she was just a name that held the key to things they wanted. They didn’t care about her. They didn’t care about our plans for those funds. They weren’t dissuaded by the labor, the savings, or the efforts we put into acquiring those resources. Kelli wasn’t a person. She was just a means to an end, and there was no concern about how their theft would affect her, or our family.
Every day, we see people we know and love perpetuate forms of self-inflicted identity theft, resulting in consequences that are far more expensive than can be measured in bank accounts. We commit these crimes against ourselves, chasing impossible ideals of self-image and pursuing standards of success that can’t bring lasting satisfaction. We have cultivated a mindset that judges others on their photoshopped selfies, and mercilessly measures our own ordinary lives as being substandard to the highly selective, heavily edited lives presented on social media by our peers. It has left many of us empty, our identities robbed of value, and bereft of our sense of true worth.
Our culture’s identity thieves don’t care about you. They just want your stuff. The more you are convinced you are not beautiful enough, smart enough, strong enough, popular enough, or successful enough, the more you spend in terms of time, effort, and dollars chasing those impossible standards. The more you are convinced that you can’t escape your past or get out of your current rut, the more hopeless you become.
God, though, offers more. Here are just a few of the incredible things He says are true about you and possible for you. You are:
- Created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27)
- Fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14)
- Known by God (Jeremiah 1:5)
- God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
- Loved by God (John 3:16)
- Able to be spiritually productive (John 15:5)
- Not forsaken, nor condemned (1 Sam. 12:22; Romans 8:1)
- Valuable to God (Matt. 6:26)
Don’t settle for being a victim of spiritual identity theft. I invite you to come explore what God has in store for you. God knows you better than you know yourself, and He loves you—the real you—more than you can imagine.