A few weeks ago I received yet another email indicating that my account had been frozen and I needed to go to a link and enter my account information to have it unlocked. Some of these emails supposedly come from banks where I do not even have an account. They are ‘phishing’ emails. People are looking for my information so they can hack my account and get money from it. I usually delete these immediately.
Once I got one the purported to be from a bank where I did have and account. When I spoke with my bankers they told me that incredible numbers of these emails. The ‘phishers’ are looking to steal someone’s identity, empty their bank accounts and secure false lines of credit. If only 3% respond, the people are able to scam millions through identity theft.
Sometimes I think that people are trying to steal my spiritual identity. When I read stories about supposed Christian pastors who preach about being violent toward certain segments of the population or incarcerating some people behind electric fences, I think, “That’s not what I think true Christianity is.” They create havoc for the gospel by doing outrageous things that infuriates the public in the name of Christ. I think they have stolen my identity as a Christian and trashed it, just the way a fraud email seeks to trash my credit rating.
In Mark 9:38-40 I see Jesus telling His disciples that anyone doing good things in His name should be welcomed as a brother. I am sure that these people do some good things. I want to say, “Yes Lord, but this doesn’t qualify.” I am reminded of Romans 12:19, “’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Maybe God is telling me to leave it up to Him.
In the banking industry I am told that the way tellers are trained to spot counterfeit money is to strictly handle the real stuff. They never give tellers in training counterfeit money. Eventually the counterfeit stuff just won’t ‘feel right’ to them and they catch it. Perhaps the best antidote to spiritual identity theft is to double down on being the real deal so that those around us know a fake when they see it.
That is a sobering thought to me! How about you?