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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Identity Theft

Have you ever been guilty of identity theft?  Now, don't all rush to admit it, but at one time or another in your life, I think you probably were!  You see, anytime you compare yourself to another and then evaluate whether you can "conform" to the image you see of the other is really a form of trying to commit identity theft!  If you actually pull it off, conforming to the image of another, you have done the deed.  Problem is . . . we often compare ourselves to a flawed image - making what we conform to only able to reproduce another flawed image!

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”  God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature.  He created them male and female.  (Genesis 1:26-28 MSG)

Anytime we try to be someone or something that another is called to be, we are engaging in this thing called identity theft.  For example, someone sings so melodically, getting accolades galore.  We want accolades, too, don't we.  So, we set out to get voice lessons, try out for the choir, and then one day we volunteer for the solo part.  How well did that work out for you?  If you are like the majority of others who pursue something for the wrong reason, you probably didn't do too well!  Why?  It was not your calling in life to be the soloist - you were made to be part of the choir!  Yet, you excel at something the soloist doesn't - your talent is unique in some manner.  You just have to discover what it is and then walk in it.

Most importantly, we have to remember we are created in God's image - first and foremost!  If we want to engage in "identity theft" we might just do well to "steal" the identity worth stealing!  What I think we have a hard time with is how we could be created in the image of God and still be so unique as human beings - each of us with different gifting and talent.  You see, we can only perceive God through our finite minds.  The many facets of his character, how those intermingle and come out uniquely in each of us just seems to baffle our minds.  We see being in the "image" of someone as being a carbon copy - but being in the image of God allows for us to be uniquely who he created us to be.  You see, when he did the creating, he put together the aspects of his character which he wanted us to uniquely display.  So, to be anything other than true to the character he put in us is to be untrue to our true identity!

The issue with admiring the image God has created in another and then trying to aspire to "fit" that image is that we put that individual in the position of being an "idol" in our lives.  As you know, God clearly speaks against this.  So, we are to follow the image of Christ we might see in another, but we are not to be envious of the "traits" or "talents" God has given that individual.  The way God made another is not the way he made us - we also display the image of Christ, just in a uniquely awesome manner.  Every one of us has a unique image of Christ - don't be afraid to display what you have been given as the "set" of character traits he puts on display through you.  Some will reveal the love of Jesus through their singing, others through their spoken word in teaching.  Others will open the doors of imagination through their creativity, connecting others to Christ's desire to "create" in their lives, as well.  Regardless of the talent, be true to it, for it is God's unique way of putting himself on display through you!

God did not create me to be you, or you to be me.  He created us to be ourselves.  Finding our true identity in Christ is only the beginning of avoiding the tendency to commit identity theft!  Just sayin!