Recently, a copycat shooter attacked a synagogue and killed one woman. Another copycat bomb attack, planned for a White Nationalist rally, was thwarted. Both bombers readily admitted their intentions were copycat plans. They said they were “inspired” by past events. With these men, and many others before them, being a copycat is a bad thing (obviously). In fact, people like this give “copycat” a bad connotation. However, from the beginning of time, not all copycats have been negative. In fact, the original copycat ACTUALLY preceded the Supreme design. The book of Hebrews goes to great lengths to explain how the Old Law was a shadow of what was to come (Hebrews 10.1).
Jesus began His ministry with, what some call, “a prescription for happiness”. These blessings give us comfort. Notice that in none of the blessings is anyone rewarded for negative activity. No one likes to mourn or be persecuted or ridiculed. But the ones who survive these blessings, and remain obedient, receive comfort and hope.
No where in the New Testament does God condone this violence which permeates today’s news. Paul exhorts us, Through the Holy Spirit, to copycat (imitate) Him as he copycatted (imitated) Christ (1 Corinthians 4.16). The church is called to copycat (imitate) the church in Judea (1 Thessalonians 2.14).
Galatians 5.19-21 gives a list of things we are not to copy, indeed, to avoid! Today’s hate mongers embody so many of these negative and sinful traits. People who exhibit these actions will not inherit the kingdom of God. The immediately following verses give us a list of actions we ARE to copy, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”.
If you spend all your time being good to others, doing good, exhibiting and demonstrating good, you won’t have time for hate, or the troubles it brings. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit”. -RJH.th