John, an apostle, wrote, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”
Imitate is an interesting word in that it can be positive or negative. It means to ‘take or follow as a model,’ or to ‘copy or simulate.’ The apostle tells us ‘do not imitate what is evil.’ Or, do not copy evil and the works of evil, habits and thoughts of evil. He contrasts this with copying or following what is good.
Imitation can also take on the copy and simulation idea quickly. An imitation diamond, or maple syrup, or vanilla, or leather, and dozens of other imitations may look like the real deal but they are fakes…copies.
On the other hand, to imitate honor, integrity, promptness, hard work, honesty and such are a good imitation in the positive… something worth copying such as father or mother our children want to imitate.
And so it is with our faith: imitate what is good. John finishes with this line: “Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” The apostle Paul goes so far as to say, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Jesus