Sunday, January 1, 2023

Identity Theft

By Joe Slater


    According to the Federal Trade Commission a fraction more than two people’s identity is stolen every minute on average in the U.S. Specific incidents range from credit card fraud to buying cars or taking out loans in someone else’s name. Whole companies exist to warn you of suspicious activity and protect you in case your bank account gets drained, or someone racks up a huge debt in your name (all for a fee, of course).

    What about your spiritual identity? If you’re a Christian, you aren’t the same person you were before you came to Christ; you have a new identity. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    Satan may bludgeon you with your past sins to steal your new identity. Paul instructed the Corinthian church to forgive and comfort their formerly incestuous brother “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:6-11). Satan would have liked nothing better than for the repentant brother be “swallowed up with too much sorrow” (v. 7), thus giving up on being a Christian at all. Paul himself was painfully aware of his wicked past but refused to surrender his new identity in Christ.

    I wonder if any of the Corinthians said, “Well, I’m just not sure he was sincere!” Folks tend to look with a jaundiced eye at the repentance of people who have committed outrageous sins. But what makes us think we should question anyone’s sincerity? Do we doubt the sincerity of others whose sins are more like our own?

    Don’t let Satan steal your identity! You aren’t who you used to be. At the same time, don’t be the devil’s accomplice in stealing anyone else’s identity in Christ.

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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