Occasionally I will check my credit report to make sure no one has stolen my identity. On one occasion, I could not remember my user name for the Experian website. So, I clicked on the "Forgot Username" button to have it sent to me by e-mail.
Then they wanted my birthdate and my Social Security number. Ten minutes later the e-mail arrived with my username. I went back to the Experian website and logged in without any difficulty.
But logging in was not enough. I remained locked out until I typed in the six-digit number they texted to my phone. Finally, I was in and the screen said, "Thank you for helping keep your identity secure!"
Experian goes to great lengths to protect my identity. To log in as me, a thief would have to know my email, my login, my birthdate, my SS number, my cell number, and have my cell phone in their possession. If someone had all that information they would be able to impersonate me, take out loans in my name, and cause me great harm.
Of even greater value, though, is my identity in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." This new identity is also worth protecting.
According to Jesus, there is a thief who would like to steal this identity, and he does this by lying to us about who we are and what we have been given in Christ (John 10:10).
We must be vigilant to maintain a strong sense of our spiritual identity in Christ, at least as vigilantly as Experian fights to protect our personal identity in this world.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:4,5, NKJV)