A very powerful statement in 1 John 3:8 tells us why Jesus came to this earth: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I passionately believe that one of the main works of the devil is to destroy people’s perception of their value to God. It has been called identity theft, and that’s what it is.Identity theft is when Satan succeeds at getting you to think you’re someone you are not, or when he blocks you from discovering your value in the Lord. If the Enemy can get you focused on your inadequacies, your faults, and get you to devalue yourself, he can keep you from reaching your full potential in life. This line of thinking will prevent you from aspiring to the fullness of who God created you to be.
How Does Satan Steal Your Value?
There are many schemes Satan employs to steal a person’s value. I will focus on four schemes here:
- Speaking Hurtful Words! The biggest lie ever concocted on planet Earth is “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Negative words kill, steal, and destroy your identity. Nothing reduces your value more than when you accept or receive devaluing words spoken to you or against you. Identity-stealing words come from many sources: parents, peers, spiritual leaders, siblings, and significant others.
- Promoting False Images! We are all inundated with image expectations. This culture tries to define what valuable is, what beautiful looks like, what’s in style, and what’s not. The images come from movies, TV, magazines, billboards, advertisements, and peer pressure at school— or even at work. Women, more so than men, are victimized by the sexually explicit images defining what they “need” to look like in order to be beautiful. Gyms are filled with people trying to measure-up, in the hope they will be loved or accepted by people or society.
- Exploiting Extreme Abilities! Our world is enticed in the recent decade by extreme sports, amazing talents, and astonishing abilities. Internet videos show the best of the best of anything that can be done. The result is that no one else measures-up. Why even try, when the only thing that is acceptable is what awes crowds and perplexes the mind? Extreme talent is certainly not a sin. The sin enters when you believe the lie: excellence is an unreachable goal, enjoyed only by few. Icons of talent have always been around. For example, during the late 60’s, crowds packed auditoriums to see the mind-boggling skills of Louisiana State University’s “Pistol Pete” Maravich on the basketball court . Now, many of his slick antics are commonplace in contemporary basketball.
- Blocking God’s Promises! The pathway to a healthy identity is discovering God’s precious promises to His children. Through His declarations of love over us, Jesus destroys the identity-stealing works of the Devil. John 8:44 says, “… [Satan] is a liar and the father of lies.” He will lie to you, so that you don’t believe or receive the promises about your identity in Christ Jesus. The Bible is full of glorious statements about who you are as a creation of God. If you have given your life to Christ, you are a son or daughter of God. Therefore, you have Christ in you, you are wonderfully made, you are more than an overcomer, and you have the mind of Christ. The list goes on and on. It is a fascinating study to discover all the precious promises God has made to you regarding who you are—who He created you to be.
How Can I Recover My Stolen Identity?
Recovering your stolen identity is a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. But the process can begin now, and a major change can happen if you simply make a few decisions. I explain how to begin the process of recovering your identity in a previous article, so that you can begin the journey today.