The Carbon Paper/ Carbon Copy Christian

Posted: September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I remember back in the “old” days when carbon paper was king. There weren’t all of these credit card machines, computers were bulky, slow, overpriced paper weights. Nothing was done electronically. All copies of everything, and all forms to be filled out had a sheet of carbon paper behind it to press ink onto another sheet behind it that which was a replica of the first form. Once your wrote on the top form you couldn’t take back what bled through to the back form. Oh how many sheets of carbon paper have been sacrificed over the years.

Carbon paper was messy, mistakes were prevalent, and it tore oh so easily. Once people started to really explore the possibilities of having a computer and all of its uses, carbon paper soon become somewhat extinct. Remember the carbon copy you would get from the mechanic after he would do work on your vehicle? What do you get now? A printed out sheet detailing the work done on your car. Remember the when you would use your credit card in any store and the cashier would run it through that uncooperative and destructive sliding contraption, which jammed most of the time, to only give you a barely legible, torn carbon copy? Now you get a printed out receipt and there is a copy of your purchase receipt waiting for you in your email to be filed electronically with all of your other receipts you have on “file”. Filing cabinets are getting lighter and becoming less useful, and less needed. I always despised my friends who wanted help moving and after everything else was moved or packed I would hear this, “Oh I forgot we have a filing cabinet in our closet.” Mind you the apartment was on the fourth floor with a winding staircase down. The only thing in it, carbon copies with a total weight of a baby elephant.

I was a Carbon Paper Christian. I was messy and unorganized in practicing my faith. I tried to be a copy of other Christians around me and not be the original that God created me to be. I tore easily at the first sign of hardship. I wrinkled when distress and setback fell upon me. I couldn’t easily get past my mistakes nor erase them. I always made myself the second sheet in the stack instead of trying to be original and stand out. 

God didn’t make copies. We are all originals. Sometimes, though, we try to mimic those around us because it seems easier and requires less sacrifice. We try to regurgitate what was shared with us instead of seeking out God ourselves and letting Him speak to our hearts and not through someone else’s. God speaks through His people into the lives of other people all of the time, but unless we sit back and truly digest what is being said and how it applies to our lives we will divert back to copying and not originating. 

Here’s an example. Our church planted a year ago. We had a lot of good advice, help, and provision from many other churches. However, God made sure we understood that we were not those churches. Even though the advice and knowledge we received from other churches was helpful and we believe from God, we as a church needed to understand we were not called to replicate what another church is doing. We needed to walk in the destiny of what God called us to be and that is our church not a carbon copy another church.

You see your ministry is not the copy of another’s. It is your ministry. Own it. Your walk is not dependent on your mom and dad’s walk. It is yours, own it. Your church is the church God gave you to steward. It is not the stewardship responsibility according to the ideas of another pastor. Own it. You are different. You are special. You are not a sheet carbon paper stuffed in between two forms ready to parrot the ideas, the beliefs, and the faith of another Christian. 

Take ownership of your walk with God. Take ownership of the ministry God has given you. Take ownership of the church God called you to plant. Own it. Stop producing copies and being a copy.

– Blessings


  1. Becky says:

    Interesting thought…
    On the other hand we would want to be a carbon copy to Christ and therefore pressing in to be like him and passing it forward to the next person.
    Great idea Danny!

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