Friday, February 02, 2007

Another Voice - Identity Theft

{Column for a local newspaper)

Last week’s Post carried an article on autobank (ATM) scams here is Letterkenny. Apparently people were finding large amounts mysteriously disappearing from their accounts. The week before carried an article about someone getting their credit cards nicked on holiday and losing out. Last November I looked at my Visa statement to find that someone had purchased tickets to fly from Slovakia to England on my card. It took a lot of phone calls and emails to get the thing sorted out.

It’s a shock to the system to look at your bank balance and see not only that it is less than you expected, but that there are several transactions listed you know nothing about. Your stomach clenches up in momentary panic as you try to figure out what’s going on.

And then a wave of relief comes as you realise that it wasn’t you, and that your credit card company is meant to cover this sort of thing. The relief is final when you get the letter from the bank saying, “We’ve credited you account with the missing amount.”

Identity theft is a real nuisance – and can be costly. However, I owe my life to an identity ‘thief’. It was one of those occasions where the switcher came off the worse for the switch. Instead of getting my resources he got my debts. Instead of me looking at the statement and finding all these things going out of my account, there were lists of things coming into my account. Beside each of my debts an equal amount had been entered to clear it.

The identity switcher was Jesus – on the cross he assumed my guilt and my bad record. He took my identity and therefore had to bear the punishment that my sins had racked up. And it wasn’t a mistake either. He willingly assumed the foulness of my record, and paid my debt with God so that I could be forgiven.

As if that wasn’t enough, it was a two-way switch – he became like me so that I could become like him, a son in God’s family with all the privileges entailed. Mind boggling or what! To find out more about enjoying this identity switch for yourself have a look at this website or feel free to contact me.

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