The morning conversation went something like this:

Matt: B, did you purchase tile?
Me: Huh?
Matt: Bianca, did you purchase six thousand dollars worth of tile flooring?
Me: Do I LOOK like the woman who would purchase six thousand dollars worth of flooring tile?! You must not know me at all. Now, if it was six thousand dollars 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 all 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 purchase get more comical. The round-trip tickets and vacation getaway to Tulum, Mexico? Not me. The sixteen charges at Walmart and CrackerBarrel? Nope, definitely not me. The Dominos pizza order totaling over $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. 

We are told that Jesus warns of identity theft. Yes, that’s right. Even before the World Wide Web even existed, our early fathers had to deal with the same drama. John 10:10 states that Jesus told his followers that the thief [Satan] comes only to kill, steal, and destroy, but He comes to bring life, abundant life.

Steal. Kill. Destroy.

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 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. 

The problem is that sometimes we don’t know your 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. Its 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.” Listen dolls, we’ve all been there. F’real.

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 partner–you are still a CHILD OF GOD.

I love how The Message version states John 10:10, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so that you can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” So the vacation in Tulum with copious amounts of CrackerBarrel carbohydrates on six thousand dollar flooring tile PALES in comparison 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.

*PS: This message is dedicated to the one and only, Matthew Ray Olthoff who runs our family finances like a Swiss bank. Without him I’d be broke, po’, and too dumb to even notice my credit card statement. Hand to heaven, that’s the truth.

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