The best way to insure our identity

The evening was quiet and pleasant, filled with the sounds of potato peeling, crayons tapping paper, and a hint of TV in the background. I was in an unusual domestic bliss, daydreaming and gazing out of the window.

A commercial came on, and it got irritatingly louder and louder as it built up its message. My daughter and I were in the same peaceful state of mind. We continued to listen half-heartedly as the announcer formally urged us to buy some sort of credit card insurance.

The baritone voice accusingly questioned us, “What would you do if someone stole your identity?” This got my attention, and my thoughts began to develop into dark clouds. I heard my internal voice shout, “That would be horrible! Financial doom!”

My 6-year-old broke through my concentration and said, “Mom, wouldn’t that be awful if someone stole our identity?” I, still in a daze, murmured in agreement.

Emma went on to ask, “What if a bad guy stole your identity?” She added to this puzzled reflection and questioned me in a serious, almost authoritative tone, “If a bad guy stole your identity, then you would be a bad guy. Right, mom?”

This perspective blew me away. Maybe she’s right. Maybe our identity can be stolen or lost, especially if it is not secure in something solid. But where do we find our identity? Do we find it in materialism, in success, in others?

I spoke to a friend about this, and she observed that sometimes she loses herself in being a mom.When we value things and base our identity on them, those things can be destroyed or stolen. If we look to others to give us value, they can let us down. While we cherish the bond we have with our children, they grow up and have their own identities apart from us. They move away.

Which leads me to this question: Who or what are the good and bad guys in our lives?

Bad guys don’t always look evil. They can be as simple as little thoughts, little desires, little habits. They can even appear worthy. Some of these criminals can be misuse of time, wrong priorities, selfishness, revenge, control, pride, jealousy and greed. What looks harmless can become destructive. These things can look tempting, like a big chocolate sundae, but get out the spiritual stomach pump, because they can be poison.

Who are the good guys in our lives? I liken these things to a security system. These right things can be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They can protect our relationships and guard our minds.

Finding myself in God is my personal hope for a stable and secure identity –– and one that can never be stolen. If we choose to find our identity in him, we can become more loving, more joyful, more peaceful and more patient.

While it is a lifelong process, we can develop integrity and character. “God Identity Insurance” gives us truth, direction and focus. He is not a threatening salesman. He does not use fear. His language is love. Once we sign up, we can trust him to protect us. He will never leave us and there is nothing to be afraid of, even when we make wrong decisions.

As I explained to Emma after the threatening commercial, “God Identity Insurance –– now that’s the kind of insurance I can buy.”

Cindy Jury is a freelance writer and a ministry leader at Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Federal Way. She can be reached at cjury@harbornet.

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