Every two seconds. That's how often someone in the U.S. has their identity stolen.
Like our friend who had her purse stolen in a restaurant. The next day massive charges were mounting up on her credit card - in Argentina! These days she could lose her credit card without ever leaving the house. Online.
But there's a more devastating identity theft than the financial kind. It's when you feel like your worth as a person has been ripped from you.
I had just finished speaking at a conference when a lady came up and began to pour out the trauma of her life. Her conclusion:
"They've totally stolen my identity!"
Her best friend has turned against her. Her husband is divorcing her. Her children have totally rejected her. Wife. Mother. Friend. What's left?
The identity she cannot lose.
Because no one on earth gave it to her. And no one on earth can take it away.
The Bible traces our worth right back to the One who gave us our life in the first place. It says, "We are God's workmanship" (Ephesians 2:10). He "created my inmost being" and "knit me together in my mother's womb". We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13, 14). Created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27).
That lady who's been so damaged is no less God's workmanship. He invested her with unloseable worth the day He conceived her life.
Not only is her identity secure because God made her. But because Jesus thought she was worth dying for.
The Bible puts Jesus' death on the cross in the most personal of terms when it says, "He loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). I face the personal price – the spiritual death penalty - for all the "me first" sins of my life. So my only hope is a Savior for me. I did the sinning. Jesus did the dying.
And He proved how much He loves us by how much He spent on us. His blood. His life.
This is a created, died-for kind of worth that no identity hit can take. Empty nest. Fired. Dumped. Divorced. Bankrupt. Abused. Overlooked. Abandoned.
Still priceless. To the One who matters most.
At youth events, I sometimes offer a $20 bill to the first person to come on stage with me. Then I crumple that bill. The person still wants it. Even if it's ripped a little - they still want it. Even if it's thrown on the floor and stepped on . . . the person is still more than willing to take that twenty.
Because no matter how it's treated, it's worth just as much.
So are we. God's handmade, blood-bought treasures.