Resolve of credit-card theft

A Christian Science perspective: Here’s how identity and credit-card theft can have a prayerful resolution. 

Each day we receive warnings about identity theft, and how best to protect ourselves. A recent report about a crime ring stealing more than a billion names and passwords, and millions of e-mail addresses, may have prompted you to cancel credit cards, change online passwords, and feel as if you’re a victim of foul play. 

When feeling overwhelmed with suspicion, fear, or worry, there is something we can do to calm those feelings and to ensure our safety. Each of us can recognize goodness and Godlikeness in ourselves and others. Even in the face of adversity. Especially in the face of adversity! 

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote, “Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 477). Spirit and Love are synonyms for God, and in Christian Science, the true idea of man is the reflection of God. That identity cannot be stolen. How could one steal the reflection of Spirit? Of Love?

As we take practical footsteps to protect our identity, we can know that, as the reflection of God, under God’s government, our identity is always intact and complete – just as God is – never damaged or stolen. 

Several years ago I was assaulted at an ATM just as my withdrawal was coming out of the slot. In my effort to keep him from taking the money, I didn’t see the man take my debit card. I only realized later that he’d cleaned out my bank account before I even got back to my residence. 

As I tried to remain calm, I thought of God governing my life. "Govern" comes from the Latin root meaning “to steer,” as in a rudder of a boat. I knew I could rely on God to steer me to a safe landing, and to guide me to take each next right step in counteracting this criminal action and allaying the fear and suspicion I was feeling. 

More than that, though, I felt that to heal the situation, I’d need to see the fellow who took my money as the reflection of Spirit, the idea, or manifestation, of the divine Principle, Love, which is God. In fact, I’d need to see him with the same identity I claimed for myself – the reflection of God, of good, and His purity. 

That seemed initially like a difficult task. Here’s the wonderful part, though; as I did pray along those lines, all worry, concern, and fear vanished completely. I began, to my surprise, to think kind thoughts of that fellow. I even embraced him in my prayers. 

Since I was in a foreign country, I prayed to know that God, unerring, divine Mind, was always present to guide me, and therefore I could make the right, needed decisions in what had been a difficult situation. Over the next two days I was able to take all the necessary steps to notify my bank and credit card company, and continue my journey. Interestingly, I encountered no trouble, no discomfort, no untoward situations from having had my bank account emptied. My travel moved ahead just as planned. 

The important part, though, was that I could move ahead with calm trust, and without blame. In the end, my funds were restored, and along the way I learned valuable lessons – not just lessons of how to take precautions when dealing with money, but of how to take a higher view of man, and to see God’s man, spiritual man, as upright, honest, and pure. No matter what the physical evidence seemed to be. 

That’s the same stand we can take when we face any physical challenge. It doesn’t matter what it calls itself – lack, pain, sorrow, disease, sin are not a part of God’s man, spiritual man. And each of us is that man! Right here, right now. Healing happens when we know, really understand, our relationship to God as a child of harmony, grace, and perfection. 

When we’re alert to the fact that we all have the same Father, God, we can go forward with confidence, with poise and decency, and we can expect to see evidence of man’s real selfhood wherever we go. 

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