“Finally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, Whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and see in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4: 8-9 (NRSV)
Mimicry is the basis of who we are. As children we mimic the behaviors of those around us. We learn our place in the world by seeing others and imagining ourselves doing what they are doing. We see the actions they do leading to a desirable response, and thus we imitate. Think of a small child who wants something from mom. He see’s his older sibling ask mom for something and usually he gets it. The child then learns to ask, as the older sibling did, for something he wishes to have. This plays out hundreds of times in a day in our lives, even as adults. It is so ingrained in who we are that we do not even realize we are mimicking anyone or anything, unless we walk in deep awareness of it. This is one of the reasons that Paul is telling the Philippians to keep meditating on the good things of the world. The things that espouse truth, beauty, love, joy – all the desirable things. If we meditate on things that are not honorable, the fruit of our mind and heart, over time, will be things of ill repute. This may be an oversimplification, but for the point we just need to remember the old adage “garbage in, garbage out.” That which we meditate on creates that which we are made of and the fruits that we feast upon.
Once we mimic what we see enough we begin to cooperate with it more fully. We learn the social situations and the way to manipulate outcomes in order for the best solution for us to be presented. The rules of the game, unwritten, have been socially ensconced into how we go about our lives. While we are cooperating with the rules of the game, we are not changing any rules of the game, we are simply consuming that which is presented, and using it to our social goals.
As we mature and gain more social stature, we begin to co-create reality. We are now the mom or dad mentioned above deciding what the rules of the game are. I can decide to block the requests of my children and deny them the “game”, or I can acquiesce and allow them to accomplish what they desire. This is where it gets interesting, because minus deep awareness of it we often do not realize how much we create or destroy the rules of mimicry.
Television and media have hijacked our creativity and alienated us from the understanding that we are creators with Christ. He gave us the ability to change that which we see do and feel. We need not be passive observers and consumers in other people’s worlds. He wants us to become creators, creators of truth, beauty, love. This is why The Apostle Paul admonishes The Philippian church to think upon these things. The more they think upon them, the more they create good things and engage in creativity. God is Love, and He created as a natural outworking of that love. The more that we mimic Him and those things that are outworking’s of His love for us, the more we are able to cooperate lovingly with Him, and become creators of love as well.
As a spiritual exercise I try and speak affirmations over myself on a regular basis. It is a little strange sometimes, but saying I am strong, or I am wise, and stating it out loud I begin to create the reality that I am looking to see. Often times though my ego, the voice of the enemy, cranks up and says “You are not” and this implies lack. I lack nothing because Christ provides for it all. Jesus the Christ made the way. Psalm 34:10 states “the young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (ESV) I intentionally ask as a retort to the feeling I am not a simple question – “Who says?” Who says I am lacking, who says I do not have this ability or that? The answer often reveals in me who or what I have let become an idol in my life. Television and the advertisements it has create a constant sense of lack in us. No matter how many things you have, it creates discontent and demands more. For me, and many many others, television is an idol. Apply this to anyone and anything. Who are you making an idol of? Often times I find myself hanging on the affirmations, or lack of affirmations, from a person I give spiritual authority to. This is a good indication of making an idol of someone, and this is where we need to be careful. We are to listen to each other and prefer one another in love, but we need to be careful we have not created wolves in sheep’s clothing. Many times wolves do not even know they are wolves, that is until something happens and spiritual detriment for themselves, and those they shepherd is a result.
When we meditate on something, and we always will by our very nature, we create it. The more we meditate on the good and the beautiful and the holy things of the world, of which there are so very many, we will become creators of these things. We are not broken, we are not lacking in ability to create, we are not lacking because of “original sin” or any other doctrine of man that says you lack. You do not lack, you do not need others to create for you. You can create, you can believe, you can become because Jesus the Christ made a way for you to do so. All you need to do is receive (mimic), acknowledge (cooperate) and then create in our co-creator capacities with our Father God.
Be mindful of what you see and hear, be grateful for the words and actions done that created who you are today. Be woeful of giving to much authority to those who wield it, and walk in the authority you are given. Mimic that which is provided by God, the good and beautiful, and go and create. The world is waiting, create truth, beauty, love.