I used to think that our culture was what perpetuated the idea that if we do the same things as someone we will feel closer to them. I thought that it was just America being stupid and failing to understand that marketing is mind control. Of course, it controls my mind so I don’t know why I was such a jerk about it. But I started thinking about the times that we decide to copy other people and why.
I met a girl who got a tattoo on her finger that is just like the one Rihanna has, because Rihanna has it. Every fashion forward girl has started growing out her eyebrows because of Cara Delevingne breaking the mold and being called beautiful. Personally I will literally look up products that celebrities use and purchase them because I am delusional and I think they make me cooler.
Then there are things like the fact that I cook the way that I do because I’ve been copying my mother for years. I make Manhattans the way that I do because it’s the way my dad makes them. I decided to change the way that I invest in people because of the way that I saw Derek invest in people. I started to change the kind of conversations I had with my female friends after having a close relationship with Tink because the way that she steered what we would talk about was edifying and encouraging, and I want to be able to be that kind of friend to others. I could go on and on and on.
But what’s the point? And why is this something that I feel the need to do, trying to be like other people?
When I think about why I copy other people I find that I am desiring to either feel closer to them or be them. I don’t cut corners people, when I look at how I choose to repeat behaviors and actions that I saw someone else do I realize that I feel like I could be them, or like they are with me. Is that weird? Or, is it the way I was made? What if there is something in me that needs to do what someone else does in order to feel a connection with them? Does that make me damaged?
I don’t think so.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)
It sounds like maybe Christ knew that I like to copy other people.
…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. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
It sounds like this guy is telling me to stop being quite so much like myself and to start acting more like someone else.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1&2)
That sounds like an explicit command from someone smarter than me that is telling me to become more like Christ. I see a trend. I wonder, since God created me and knew even all the way back “in the beginning” that I would be born into sin and would never be able to be perfect on my own… Maybe He really did make me this way? Maybe He knew that I was born to be a copycat and was faithful to make it into a tool in my relationship with Him. Maybe God even designed me to be this way on purpose, so that I would find it easier to follow Christ because all I have to do is whatever he does to feel closer to Him, which in turn God sees as me being more like Him.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)