Identity Theft

Dr. Jon R. Roebuck, Exec Director

It happened again.  I got a letter this week from a company informing me that my personal data had been compromised.  This time the company involved is a medical company that connects the dots between a medical provider who provides joint injections for knees, shoulders, etc., with the insurance companies.  It works like this… when the doctor prescribes a procedure, this company is contacted to make inquiry of the insurance company to see if the procedure is covered.  Apparently in order to make all of the necessary contacts, this “3rd party” has access to a patient’s medical record, name, address, social security number, etc.  Because I had a history of knee injections (23 to be exact) prior to my recent bilateral knee replacement surgery, my personal data has been floating around this system.  The recent letter stated the company’s belief that none of my medical records were compromised, but that everything else was at risk.  They offered to provide a year’s worth of identity protection.

A few years ago, I got a similar letter when the data at Target was compromised.  There was even a third incident a few months before that well-publicized incursion.  I don’t even remember what company was involved, but my bank had a crazy time sending me new cards each time I was at risk.  It’s a huge problem, right?  So many of us have personal information stored with a number of so called, “secure” sites.  And yet businesses and data banks are getting “hacked” with alarming regularity.  It even happens in the cyber world.  How many times have you received a message from someone you know that seems a little strange?  And within minutes you get a “real” message from that friend saying that his/her email has been hacked.

It’s a scary thing to think that someone has stolen my identity, or yours.  We don’t want people posing like us to take our money, ruin our credit scores, or bring upheaval to our lives.  We don’t want anyone doing anything that in anyway falsifies who we are or brings potential shame upon our character.  So why do we allow ourselves to steal the identity of Christ and use it fraudulently?

Consider this verse… Gal. 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” That verse teaches all of us as believers in Christ, that we no longer belong to ourselves.  Our bodies, our hearts, our minds, and our motivations are now the property of Christ Himself.  It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in and through us.  So, we become His image before the world.  We become His ambassadors.  We become the standard bearers.  Whenever we choose to act inappropriately, or with malice, or with hatred, or with prejudice, or with greed, we have to borrow His body to commit those deeds.  We become the perpetrators of identity theft.

The problem is that most of us don’t think before we act.  We don’t consider the rippling effects that are created whenever we misrepresent Christ.  We live our lives, tweet our insults, Facebook our opinions, and voice our thoughts as if no one sees, hears, or reads what we say and think.  We have segmented our lives into various categories.  We have a faith/church life.  We have a political life.  We have a family life.  We have a business life.  We have a social media life.  And somehow we think that it’s perfectly fine to live any one of those lives distinctively from the other lives.  We forget that we have taken on the identity of Christ.  His grace, His voice, His ethic, and His authority has to overarch all that we are and everything that we do.  Whenever we fail to practice the belief that “Jesus is Lord,” we have committed the worst kind of identity theft.  If we are going to claim Him as Lord, we must be willing to be claimed by Him.