Stolen Identity

Recently, one of my friends had her identity stolen… for the third time.

The first time, someone purchased an Escalade in her name and tried to sell it for parts.

The second time, someone tried to open a Target credit card in her name (a huge step down from the Escalade). Thankfully, their plans were thwarted.

The last time, someone took out a sizable loan in her name, which unfortunately moved to collections.

As you can imagine, having your identity stolen is frustrating, infuriating, and can leave you feeling insecure. The fact that someone else is posing as you and making decisions that impact your life without your permission is not something any of us would choose.  

Yet, some of us actually live this way all the time. 

When we come to Jesus, we get a new identity as a child of God, but we allow that identity to be stolen and redefined by other things that were never meant to have as much influence in our lives as we give them. Instead of holding securely to the life changing work of Jesus, we look to things like our accomplishments, our feelings, and others’ opinions to determine who we are. 

The problem with shaping your identity that way is that it’s unstable. What we’re able to achieve changes throughout our lifetimes. Our feelings change, sometimes by the hour, and they lie to us often. (What you feel may be real, but it’s not always true!) People’s opinions can conflict and leave you feeling torn in two, rather than secure in who you are. 

Stolen identities always leave you feeling confused, anxious, stressed, exhausted… and fearful of losing yourself again.  

So, what’s the solution? 

Read these incredible words in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:

Anyone who comes to Christ receives a new identity. Their old identity is gone; a new one has begun. And all of this is a GIFT from God. Through Jesus, God made peace between himself and us. And God gave us the opportunity to help others find peace with him by sharing this message – because of Jesus, God does not hold people guilty for their sins. Instead, God made Jesus, who had no sin, to become our sin, so that through him, we could become right with God.

Here's the solution: Jesus gives us His identity!  

In the greatest exchange of all time, Jesus takes on our sin and we take on his righteousness. When Jesus is who we love the most, he defines our identity. Then, no longer do our actions, feelings and the opinions of others get to steal our identity. Instead, our identity gets defined by what Jesus did for us. 

When Jesus defines our identity, actions become worship, not ways to earn our value.
When Jesus defines our identity, we can trust the truth of the Bible instead of how we feel.
When Jesus defines our identity, what he says about us is what matters most. 

You have a choice:

Continue to let your identity be stolen by things that will leave you broken; or, receive a new identity from Jesus, secured by his finished work on the cross. 

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