Last year, almost 10 million people were victims of some type of identity theft. These thieves stole everything from credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and Social Security numbers, to telephone calling cards. To them, nothing is sacred! Such criminal behavior continues to increase across our land, and no segment of our society is immune.
As tragic and damaging as financial identify theft can be to a person’s good name and credit, the theft of our self identity can cause even greater loss and eternal suffering. Every day, people are robbed of, and denied the knowledge of their uniqueness as God’s special creation. Most importantly, many fail to see, or take advantage of the opportunity to become part of God’s family through Christ Jesus. Because of God’s amazing grace revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, every person who responds to His invitation through faith becomes a child of the Divine family.
Knowing who we are, and whose we are, is critically important for our emotional health and spiritual maturity. Several years ago, one of my professors in seminary, Dr. Findley Edge, said, “The greatest problem facing the church today is not the decline in attendance or the inability to meet budget, but rather the failure to understand what God desires us to be as the people of God.” (The Greening of the Church, Dr. Findley Edge, 1972.)
Recently, a friend gave me a copy of the book, Identity Theft, by Kevin Avram and Wes Boldt. It is a small book, and I thought it would be another quick read. I soon discovered it was anything but that. The 166 pages of this little book are filled with some of the most profound and biblically solid truths about the identity of the human heart, and the road maps or paradigms determining human behavior.
The underlying thesis of the book is the human heart responds to truth either with pride or with humility. If our heart’s response to truth is pride, the paradigm or lens through which see the world will be rooted in an attitude of self-sufficiency, and will give birth to one of three distinct “heart identities”: the laborer, the orphan or the beggar.
In simple terms, when a person’s self-identity (heart identity) is derived from a source other than God, their identity is, essentially “stolen.” And, if we live with that paradigm long enough, our attitudes and actions grow more and more like the attitudes and actions of people who do not profess to know God or serve Christ.
On the other hand, when the human heart responds to truth with humility, it opens the door to becoming a child of the King —a divine royal heir in an honest and real relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We abandon self-sufficiency, and embrace dependence upon the Father. It’s not about working for God, but about being His child, and as His son or daughter He may choose to do His work through us! What difference it makes to live and serve through this paradigm!
Do you know who you are? I encourage you to get this little book, and to dig deeper into the truth of our self-identity. God created us to be sons and daughters, not laborers, beggars or orphans. He wants you to be a royal heir!
Get the book. Read it, and let me know what you think!