May 3, 2018
Volume 22, Number 17

It’s not that Dennis Jackson was playing with Play-Doh; he thought he had come upon the perfect tool to help him with his intended crime. He had taken a quantity of this moldable substance into Walmart in Leiceister, Massachusetts this past December, and used it to cover the theft-prevention devices on items from the store. In this way he could walk out of Walmart without paying, and no one would know. A perfect plan!

Except that it wasn’t so perfect. The Play-Doh didn’t suppress the signals given off by the items he was shoplifting, and the alarms went off as he walked out. He dropped the goods and fled. The merchandise was left behind, and so were his fingerprints. In covering the ID devices with the clay, he left his identity imprinted, too. He was soon arrested after a search found warrants from two different states.

Fingerprint identification is a proven way of establishing the identity of perpetrators. No two sets of prints are identical, we’re told. It’s almost as if we had left our business card at the scene of the crime, telling detectives who to look for.

When God looks at my life, what does He see? Does He detect fingerprints on my actions, my words, my values? Can He quickly see who has been molding my life?

Peter speaks of this danger: “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14). “Conforming” is from a Greek word which means to be fashioned or molded into an image. Think of a potter’s wheel with a lump of clay. As the wheel turns, the hands of the potter form that clay into whatever she desires. In this case Peter argues that the world can make us into an image that does not glorify God.

He then points to what should be our goal as Christians: “… but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 2:15,16). A different set of hands must be involved for this goal to be achieved. If God is holy, then His hands must be shaping me, the clay.

Whose fingerprints can be seen in my life? It doesn’t matter that I claim to be a Christian. If my form looks more like the world – if the world’s marks are imprinted into my life – that’s what God sees.

A more familiar statement of this ideal is found in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Your identity will be known to God. The fingerprints will absolutely give you away!

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.