My credit card was recently “hacked.” The stranger’s purchases caused me to reflect on my identity. A growing problem today is identity theft—when someone steals another person’s good name and obtains access to all the rights and privileges that go along with that person.
As Christians, every time we are guilty of misrepresenting Christ (that is good ole’ fashioned hypocrisy), we are also guilty of identity theft. We most often misuse God’s name through our lifestyles.
The nation of Israel carried around the responsibility of bearing God’s name. When Israel joined into the covenant, they became God’s people (Ex. 19:4-6). This covenant means that God promised to provide for them and protect them, but it also meant that they bore the responsibility for carrying God’s name to the rest of the nations of the world. When others looked at Israel, they saw God’s people, and they got an idea of what God was like. They carried God’s reputation with them. The actions of Israel didn’t just reflect on Abraham, their ancestor, their actions also reflected on God and God’s name because they were His chosen people.
God has a new people who bear His name now (Acts 11:26c). The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. The term “Christian” means “Christ-ones” or “little Christs.” As Christians, we carry around the name of Christ wherever we go. Acts 9:15, 15:17, & 1 Peter 4:16 share how the people who bear God’s name have the responsibility of reflecting God in such a way that men would praise God because of their lifestyle. The reason they were called “Christians” is because they lived like Christ–they were different.
Bearing His name is an honor and a responsibility, which cannot be taken lightly. (The cash or cards in your wallet come with responsibility too, and yes, I now have my own credit card issue resolved.)