Thursday, September 19, 2019
It’s not long after our birth that we begin to attempt to copy the actions of people around us. It starts with a smile. Soon the baby is making noises that imitate what the parent is doing to imitate the baby. After a while there will be hand-waving. It’s not long before emotions are able to be expressed in tantrums and thoughts are able to be expressed in words. Suddenly, before our very eyes, stands a mirror image of ourselves. We don’t always like what we see.
There is a word that connects a baby’s attempts to copy others with a Scriptural principle for our lives. It’s found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Romans 12:1-2 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
The word is in verse 2 – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world. It’s a word from which a major copy machine company chose their name, and in my early days of business and church ministry it was synonymous with copiers. The word is “xerographic”, and the company was Xerox.
The definition of xerographic is this – a process for copying printed material in which the image of the original material is transferred by the action of light to an electrically charged surface to which the image attracts oppositely charged dry ink particles, which are then fused in place on paper, reproducing the original image.
Sounds complicated, but I see it as a spiritual analogy. Jesus is the original. God is the Light. My life is the electrically charged surface. The Holy Spirit is the ink. Here’s how it works.
Babies are born with both a genetic nature that will dictate some behavior, like crying when hungry, and also a blank slate where learned behaviors are added, or “copied.” Those learned behaviors will become the expression of their inherent thought process.
The same is true of newborn Christians. When we come to Christ, we are born into the family of God and are given the genetic nature of Jesus. His nature will dictate some of our behavior, like hunger for the Word of God. But other behaviors remain our choice, and we learn how to choose to express our thoughts in our words and actions. When we choose to expose our thoughts to the nature of Jesus under the light of God, the Holy Spirit duplicates His nature in us. We become a copy of the original. We’ve been spiritually Xeroxed.
Unfortunately many of us don’t expose ourselves to the light of God. We choose to copy the world rather than Jesus. From my own experience, that doesn’t work out very well. I think you know that from your experience also. Copying the behaviors and customs of the world will lead to the same end as the world – destruction and death. But transforming our minds so that our lives become the copy of Christ brings the good and pleasing will of God for an abundant life.
Each one of us must decide who or what we will copy. We have all become the behavioral product of our choice to copy someone. If that choice has led you to become the copy of anyone but Christ, then it’s time for you to expose yourself to the transforming light of God and His truth. You can become the copy of Christ. Let the xerography begin today. Let’s copy Christ.