Guard your identity
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the world into a digital work environment in the domestic, business and education sectors. While there has been mixed response to this reality, many have made the transition and adapted to doing most things online.
As a result, our lives are integrated with technology and the pandemic has driven even the most reluctant tech adopters to reach for the smartphone or tablet in order to stay in contact with the outside world. Online meetings are commonplace and most communication is conducted in a virtual environment. While on the one hand this is convenient and efficient, the transition to the digital space has resulted in an increase in what is being referred to as identity theft.
Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable information, such as identification numbers or driver’s license numbers, to impersonate someone else. It is obvious that no one would knowingly hand over their identity to such an imposter since this would have disastrous consequences and could end up destroying the victim’s life completely.
So how does this happen and how can it be prevented? According to the experts, great caution should be taken when purchasing products online or when being contacted by unknown people requesting personal details that could be used to defraud an unsuspecting victim. This is the worst form of identity theft and requires vigilance to ensure that personal data is protected securely.
There is another form of identity theft that is less obvious but is proliferating at a far higher rate and usually with the full consent of the ‘victim’. This form of identity theft stems from a need to be accepted and to appear to be living the dream life that is portrayed on the pages of glossy magazines. This form of identity theft requires the individual to display the details of their ‘perfect’ but often false life on social media for all the world to see. Social media lives are usually picture perfect with only the best and most exciting events being posted so that the reader assumes that this person is actually living the dream.
The problem that this creates is that people now have to live up to the expectations that their alter ego has created. The result of living this double life is stress, unhappiness and, in many cases, depression and a sense of hopelessness. Without even realising what has happened, the true identity of a person has been stolen and they are now living a life that they were never intended to live.
What does God say about you or about the young person that He has placed in your care as a parent or Christian educator? The Word of God is clear about the true identity that He has planned for each individual. The world has a plan or image of what you should look like or become – but God has the true picture of who He created you to be. Here is what God says about you today:
- His eyes saw your unformed body; all the days ordained for you were written in His book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
- Before He formed you in the womb He knew you; Before you were born He sanctified you; He ordained you for a specific purpose to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
- Your heart may plan your way, But the Lord directs your steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
- There may be many plans in your heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)
- For you are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
- God knows the plans that He has for you says the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:11)
When you step outside of God’s divine plan for your life and start looking to other sources for your identity, you will end up confused, frustrated, feeling inadequate and possibly even depressed because you simply cannot live up to something that you were never meant to be. You cannot live up to an identity that does not belong to you.
It has been said that “If you don’t have what it takes, it will take what you have”, and this rings true today. If you are living your life trying to be anything BUT who God intended you to be, you are missing out on the greatest adventure of your life. Don’t live a fake life that is dictated by what you think others want you to be. Make a quality decision today to take back your identity in Christ and live the mind blowing, barrier breaking, overcoming, joyful and fulfilling life that God destined for you. Don’t be a victim of identity theft. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus came so that you can have life and have it in abundance. Take back your life today by following God’s plan for you and become a wellspring of hope and inspiration for those around you – live YOUR life.
- Don’t let social media define your identity.
- Don’t let other people’s expectations define your identity.
- Don’t let your sin define your identity.
- Don’t let your history define your identity.
THERE ARE THREE SIMPLE HALLMARKS OF HEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM:
- Know who you are – God’s Word declares who you are.
- Like who you are – accept the person that God intended you to be.
- Be who you are – actively pursue God’s plan and enjoy your life beginning right now. Christ is your ‘life coach’.
Many people reach out to a life coach to help them discover who they were meant to be. The simplest way for you to live your best life according to God’s plan for you is to die to yourself and allow Christ to bring the true you to life according to His plan for you. In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul reminds us that we must be crucified with Christ and that our own plans for our lives need to be brought into alignment with God’s plan for us.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
This is only possible when we begin to see our lives through the lens of God’s Word and when we begin to act and respond to His instruction in the same way that Jesus did when He walked upon the earth. Paul once again reminds us in Philippians 2:5 that we need to allow the mind of Christ Jesus to direct our responses to this world so that we will remain true to the destiny that God has planned for us before the beginning of time.
Don’t allow the world to dictate who you should be. Don’t let the world spoil you through philosophy or vain deceit, or according to the traditions of popular trends and the values of modern-day society. Protect your identity by having the mind of Christ and live the life you were born to live.
DO YOUR CHILDREN KNOW HOW TO SET LIFE GOALS?
Many of us have become content with merely going through the routine of getting up in the mornings, going to work, coming back to do the house chores and never seem to be able to break the cycle. Yet, when asked, we usually admit that we have unfulfilled dreams