The morning conversation with my husband went something like this:
Matt: B, did you purchase tile?
Matt: Bianca, did you purchase $6,000 worth of tile flooring?
Me: Do I look like the woman who would purchase $6,000 worth of flooring tile?! You must not know me at all. Now, if it was $6,000 worth of shoes, then maybe I would own that. But tile? No way, Jose!
After 9,274,104 phone calls to our credit card company, the payment was reversed and we had to file identity theft charges. The ironic part of this whole situation is that I didn’t even flinch when Matt asked me. I have been a victim of identity theft four separate times and with each time, the purchases get more comical. The round-trip tickets and vacation getaway to Tulum, Mexico? Not me. The 16 charges at Walmart and Cracker Barrel? Nope, definitely not me. The Domino’s pizza order totaling more than $350? Yup, not me either. So when the charges of flooring tile hit the credit card, I didn’t even flinch.
I’ve gone through this before. It’s nothing new. It will not change who I am.
Beware of the Thief
Jesus warns Christians of identity theft. Before the World Wide Web even existed, our early fathers had to deal with the same drama. states that Jesus told his followers that the thief [Satan] comes to kill, steal, and destroy but that Jesus comes to bring abundant life.
If you have never been a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft, I’ll tell you that it’s horrible. You are stolen of your ability to know and defend truth. Your credit is killed (even if just for a moment). Your reputation is destroyed. Steal. Kill. Destroy.
In the same way, our identity is daily sought after. The warning Jesus gave his followers is the one I echo today. Be careful! There are people and things and temptations that will lure you away from the real you. Your true identity must be forged in concrete, unwavering in doubt.
You Are a Child of God
The problem is that sometimes we don’t know our spiritual credit report. We aren’t aware of who or how we are being taken advantage of. Or worse, we don’t even know who we are or how we got to where we are. It’s convoluted and complicated and contrived. I’ve heard women tell me, “But I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve completely lost myself and my identity.” We’ve all been there.
But instead of talking about what we don’t know, why don’t we focus on what we do know. If you lose your way and spiritual amnesia has robbed you of memory, hold onto the simple fact that if all else fails—you get divorced, you lose a child, you are fired from a job, you break up with a boyfriend, or something even worse—you are still a child of God.
I love how The Message renders John 10:10, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so that they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” So the vacation in Tulum with copious amounts of Cracker Barrel carbohydrates on $6,000 dollar flooring tile pales in comparison to the life that Christ wants to give us. Nobody can steal your identity unless you allow them to. Fight. It’s your life, child of God. Don’t lose it.
This article first appeared on InTheNameOfLove.org and is used with permission.
Bianca Juarez Olthoff is a TCW advisor as well as a writer and speaker. She is in love with two men: Jesus and her husband, Matt. Bianca spends her week working as Chief Storyteller for The A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization, but loves having dance parties in the living room with her two step-children or cooking meals for friends. Connect with her at InTheNameOfLove.org or on Twitter at @biancaolthoff.