Last weekend to celebrate the closing of the seasonal bookstore that I ran I took a group of my staff out to Lone Star restaurant. While there we discovered something interesting about their waitstaff. According to our waitress, none of the staff use their real names. It’s company policy to either make up another name, or get creative and use something fun, like Thumper.
That was the name our waitress gave herself. Thumper, as in, Bambi’s Thumper.
“That way,” she tells me, “it keeps the creepers from stalking you outside of work, on like Facebook and stuff.”
Then she goes on to give the second reason:
“The bosses also figure, if we come to work with a different name, it gives us a different identity. None of the drama or problems we face carry over into our work because that person doesn’t come to Lone Star, ever. When I come to work, I’m a different person, with a different name to prove it.”
Isn’t that an awesome concept? A new name effectively accomplishes two things: It keeps the creepers away, and it gives people a new identity, effectively erasing their problems, at least for a period of time.
Jesus, the Artisan
A lot of Christians are under the impression that Jesus died simply so that they can get to heaven. But Jesus didn’t die so that you can escape this world. He came, lived, died and rose again to create.
Yes, to create.
Is it any wonder that the Apostle John speaks of Jesus’ role in the first creation: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3). And Paul echoes that sentiment: “For by him all things were created…” (Colossians 1:16).
Yet because things got ugly and broken, Jesus – the creator – went to work to recreate and make all things new. That’s why he came. That’s the significance of Paul’s detailed discussion of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 (see in particular verses 20-28). Or, more explicitly, Revelation 21:5:
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
What this means for you today (and not in some distant heavenly time and place) is this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Your new name
Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with the policy of a Texas Grill restaurant chain.
It is simply this: when you decided to follow Jesus, what Paul refers to as being “in Christ,” you are essentially given a new name, and with it a new identity.
And two things happen when you’re in Christ: the first is that “the old has gone,” meaning that drama, that baggage, those problems, all the things that tore you down and kept you from being who God created you to be. They are “gone.”
The second thing that happens when you come into Christ and receive a new name is that the creepers lose their power over you. Jesus said “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)
But here’s the thing, for this to work the waitstaff need to remember to use their new names and immediately stop using their old names when they go to work. If they tell a creeper their real name, they open themselves up to being creeped. And if they use their old name, their baggage will follow them to work.
And the same is true for you and I.
When we forget or stop living in our new identity, which is in Christ, and begin again to use our old identity, we open ourselves up to the creepers of the spiritual realm, and perhaps worse, we begin to live according to our old life once again.
So don’t forget to live according to your new identity, which is in Christ. Lose that baggage and walk in freedom.
QOTD: If you could give yourself any name, any name at all, what would it be? You can leave a comment by clicking here.