Monkey See, Monkey Do
By Grant Phillips
What causes trends? Basically trends are caused by people mimicking others because they don’t know how to be their own person.
Fashions are a good example. Certain clothes, or lack thereof, are fashionable because we want to be like other people. “This is what everyone is wearing.” The marketing industry knows this. They come out with something different from the previous line, so they can make more sales. They parade these new fashions on the “runway” by models. The “elite” purchase. The followers follow.
Whether its tattoos, pants hanging down to ones knees, long hair, no hair, spiked hair, colored hair, males with earrings, women in men’s clothing (and vice versa), new car in the driveway, three bath house as opposed to one, etc., societal people have a “monkey see, monkey do” frame of mind.
When our favorite Hollywood “star” is a moral pervert, we think that’s okay, and why not I? When our favorite band or singer performs trash and lives the same, we say, “Hey, that’s what I want.”
If we are so determined to be like someone else, why not start at the top instead of the bottom? We can’t expect the world to follow Jesus, but He should be the one every Christian would want to model their life after.
“… Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
“… Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Matthew 8:22)
“… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26)
It is very clear that Jesus wants us to be like Him. He says repeatedly, “Follow Me.” Maybe it would be smart to adjust our lifestyle to fit what Jesus would expect from us, not what the world expects from us.
Let us not concentrate on what we wear or how we look, but on what occupies our mind. If our outer appearance needs correcting, it will come from within. By following Jesus, we will be more like Him than the world.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:11-18)
When we put on the whole armor of God, we follow Jesus as He instructed us, and something else automatically happens. We are not as accepted by the world. We may not be accepted at all. We may be even hated.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
When following Jesus, be prepared to be excluded from the “in” crowd. Very few people, even among those who “profess” Christ, can’t take the pressure of being excluded from what the world perceives we should be.
Even among professing Christians, peer pressure can often get in the way of that which is contrary to God’s will in our lives. Yes, that’s right. Believe it or not, not all Christian’s are models of following Jesus. That isn’t to say some of us are perfect either. None of us are perfect. I repeat, none of us will ever measure up to His standards, but He is the measuring tool we must use.
If we are serious about following Jesus Christ, then we need to follow a different standard, and that standard is exemplified in the Son of God.
How should I dress? What should I listen to? What should I read? How should I act? We could make an endless list of things we should change, but if our heart isn’t changed, it won’t matter. Then we just become a person who is judgmental of others because they aren’t as perfect as we think we are. I’ve seen many Christians who are just as demanding as the world. The world wants us to be like it. Some stodgy Christians want us to be like them. Both are wrong. We should be like Jesus.
By following Jesus, we are transformed from the inside where it counts. He will then take care of the outer dressing, if it’s necessary. If we are going to have a “monkey see, monkey do” attitude, let us at least direct it in the right direction, not toward the world, but toward the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ.
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 20:7)
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)