2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
When I used to work in both the restaurant and grocery industries, there were times that you needed to close down stores. Sometimes it was good, like when you were closing a competitor’s brand down because you were converting it to your brand. Then there were the not-so-good times, such as when one of your stores failed and you had to close it or when a company claimed bankruptcy and they closed several stores over a timeline.
One thing was common in each of these situations, you had to deidentify the store.
This meant that any branding materials or operating manuals or confidential information must be removed from the location. The most notable point in the process is when the front sign comes down. That is when people driving by that location for years to come will say, “I remember when such and such used to be in that spot. I wonder whatever happened to them.”
Now that I am in ministry, I hope I will never have to deidentify a church.
But the interesting thing is that today I had to do just that.
You see, Christmas holiday is over. I went into the church this morning and started looking for the boxes to pack up anything that looked like Christmas.
When I was done, I texted my wife and told her that I just deidentified Christmas.
I had to stop and pause for a moment after I texted that.
I deidentified Christmas.
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Now people driving by the church will say, “I remember when that church had a nativity scene outside and the cow was a little lopsided, it used to catch my attention every day that I drove to work.”
As a Christian, we should never think about deidentifying Christmas from our lives. Yes, the holiday itself is simply that, a day to commemorate the birth of Christ. Similar to baptism where it is an outward symbol of an inward decision. Christmas holiday itself has absolutely no power.
But the Holy Spirit does.
Now that I took that lopsided cow and put it into the shed, will that random person driving by think of Jesus? Or the church? Or even what happened on the day that we celebrate?
I hope that person will take their faith walk a little farther than just looking for a lopsided cow.
I hope they will realize the power of the God of the Christian faith. King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
But now I want to look at this another way.
Thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, if you are a member of the family of Christian faith, then you have been deidentified as well.
You see, Jesus stepped into your life, a life that was branded by the sins of your past, and deidentified you of them. He then gave you a new identity, saved.
Now when people drive by your life, they will say, “I remember that guy, he used to do such and such back in the day, but he’s changed. A totally different person!”
That’s what deidentification does.
It changes not just what is inside, but what people see on the outside as well.
So as we move into the new year, if you have spent this 2018 year being identified by your sins, then now is the time to deidentify. Reach out to the creator of identity and as for a new one. Bring about the change that will last for eternity, not just a new year’s resolution that will be gone in a few months.
If you want to know how to deidentify and get a new identity, I want to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you take this faith walk.
Ephesians 4:22-24 – To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.