I’m surprised how calm my husband and I were when we found out his identity may have been stolen. At an appointment, his driver’s license randomly scanned in association with a different birthdate. On paper, he was seventeen years younger. Not a bad thing in years, but not a good thing if someone got ahold of his personal information for malicious purposes. Who wants their good credit rating messed up by a complete stranger?
Near-catastrophes like this don’t stress me out like they used to. Probably because I realize just how temporary it all is. Light and momentary. Not worth the drain of life and energy that comes from chronic worry. Yet the prospect of what could have happened has got me thinking about another case of stolen identity.
The Bible says there is an enemy who lurks like a ravenous lion, seeking to devour our souls. This enemy comes “to steal and to kill and to destroy.” He’s the most cunning of all identity thieves, replacing the truth of who we were created to be with lies we come to perceive as reality.
Through these lies, we’re convinced we can never change. We believe our identity is inescapably tied to our past. Once an addict, always an addict. Once a prisoner, always a prisoner. Once a failure, always a failure. We can’t see past our faults to who we were meant to be.
But there is a truth that is greater than the lie. Our identity is not found in what we’ve done, for the good or for the bad. Our identity is not about who we’ve been but whose we are. Jesus Christ died on the cross that our identities can be transformed. In him, we are given a new identity. We’re no longer the addict, the prisoner, the failure. Instead, we’re chosen, redeemed, forgiven, loved…and free.