Identity Theft edited by Melissa Kruger
Reclaiming the truth of who we are in Christ
Recently I heard that the computer system of the medical centre I attend had been hacked. It made me feel pretty uncomfortable to think that my family’s details might end up in the wrong hands, affecting our privacy and confidentiality. Might it even lead to identity theft? I really hope not, but we’ll have to wait and see. Have you had that experience before? Maybe like me, you’ve had online details accessed. Or maybe you’ve had your wallet stolen and bills racked up on your credit cards, or your Facebook hacked, or some other identity theft. According to the Australian Federal Police identity theft costs Australia $1.6 billion each year *. That’s a serious amount of money!
But what if there’s another identity theft, closer to home, which also needs our attention? That we need to be careful to guard against? So often we feel tempted to give in to identity theft in a spiritual sense, listening to what the world, or our own insecurities, or the Devil tells us. That’s what Melissa Kruger set out to consider in her new book “Identity Theft: Reclaiming the truth of who we are in Christ”.
We need biblical truth to help guard our hearts and minds against spiritual identity theft. So to that end, each of the chapters of “Identity Theft” explain how our identity in Christ means that we are (1) Free: rescued by grace; (2) Reflection: made in God’s image; (3) Child: beloved by the father; (4) Saint: redeemed by the son; (5) Fruitful: filled with the Holy Spirit; (6) Member: connected to the church; (7) Beautiful: clothed in splendour; (8) Servant: reaping a reward; (9) Worshiper: shining brightly in darkness; and (10) Citizen: longing for home. Just those headings alone paint a beautiful picture of the life of a Christian!
Here’s a quote from page 3 that encapsulates the book well, ‘Our identity in Christ us a fixed anchor guiding us through the changing seasons and circumstances of our lives as women. We’re not primarily defined by our college degree, marital status, the number of children we have, where we live, or the work we do. It’s our identity in Christ that shapes every aspect of our lives. As Paul told the Colossians “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:7). Understanding who we are in Christ impacts every other area of our lives.’
Identity Theft would be a great choice for a group of women to read and discuss together. At the end of each chapter are discussion questions that help you make the application more personal, thinking through the Bible passages and how you can dwell in and live out your identity in Christ day to day. While reading I also thought it would help someone who is a new believer, working out what it really means to be in Christ. Or maybe you’ve been a Christian a while but have the nagging feelings of “who am I?”. “I’m not enough”, “where is God when my life doesn’t go how I’d planned?”, “is God even listening?”, as this book pulls together many of those questions and responds to them in a biblically rich and thoughtful way.
One thing I loved about this book, in an ouchy sort of way, was the Bible verse to memorize at the end of each chapter. Several times this year I’ve heard Christians speak about how beneficial memorising scripture has been to them in times of trials. Most recently at the EQUIP ministry wives conference, Cathy Sampson, a missionary kid, now ministry wife, who has lived on multiple continents, cities and in almost too many houses to count, shared how having a go to list of Bible passages have helped her in times of great anxiety and stress. It was both an encouragement and a challenge. Despite being a Christian for 15 years, I have a pretty small number of verses I know off by heart. So I plan to commit some of these suggested verses to memory, as deposits in the bank for when my energy or confidence in Christ feels depleted. We have God’s word, deep biblical truth, which we should ground our identity in as Kruger encourages us too.
I also liked that different women have contributed to this book because of the diversity their different experiences and “voices” bring to the overall jigsaw. And yet at the same time, each chapter is consistent in following the same pattern:
· Identity theft: expose our false notions of identity
· Identity truth: understand the biblical truth of our identity in Christ
· Identity transformed: reflect on what it looks like to live in our new (and true) identity
In Part 2 of my review I’ll unpack some of the different facets of identity theft that are addressed in the book.
Meet Sarah Cameron
I love to read, but don’t get much time to at the moment with 3 little kids. I’m thankful to be part of the St Barnabas Anglican Church Fairfield and Bossley Park church family, where my husband Gus is an Assistant Minister. Not originally from the South West, our free time is spent exploring the local area, experiencing new foods and getting to know people from different backgrounds.