"Count yourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God." (Romans 6:11)When it comes to sin, that's not too far an image from the idea of faking our own death. Not in the sense of starting a false life, but in the sense of starting over with a true one. When temptation knocks, we tell the devil, "Sorry, I -- er, I mean they -- don't live here anymore."
But there's always the risk of running into someone that you used to know. It seems to be a public sport to find the skeletons in peoples' closets, to dig up an old secret and say that one thing from long ago shows what a person is "really" like. But is one thing from a long time ago usually the true key to what a person is really like? And, from our faith: is that the good news? When we come across someone's old secret and have a chance to think differently of them, how about: Let's not, and let forgiveness be our choice. We can let them live a new life, and not be the force working against mercy. After all, who doesn't need mercy?