From Rich Dixon this week:
I recently spotted a WWJD bracelet.
They’re sorta rare these days. When I started following Jesus in the ‘80’s, many students wore them.
To a new believer, What Would Jesus Do? seemed like a good question. As I learned more about church culture, however, the “question” seemed more like a behavior code. WWJD apparently implied some unwritten list of Do’s and (mostly) Don’ts.
I could never quite determine whether WWJD was about guidance or guilt.
I still think WWJD is a good question…to ask myself.
- Tossing WWJD at someone else feels a lot like manipulation.
- It’s amazing how frequently I’m absolutely certain, at first reaction, Jesus would do exactly what I want to do.
- WWJD isn’t as simple as a bracelet or a list of rules. If I’m gonna ask, I should be ready to walk with Him, to take time to listen and hear an unexpected and perhaps uncomfortable response.
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Why does it matter, you ask?
Let’s say some public person quoted scripture in a context that seemed less-than-perfect.
WWJD? Surely Jesus would use His superior biblical knowledge to condemn blasphemy (and score political points), right?
Or perhaps, upon reflection, I remember Jesus condemned religious leaders who intentionally twisted their knowledge of scripture to assert power and control. I remember Jesus actually talked a lot about grace and forgiveness.
Maybe, especially in a time of grief, He’d care less about proper exegesis and more about caring for people. Maybe He’d suggest a re-think of any response that doesn’t point toward love. Maybe He’d say there would be a better time to study and clarify the scripture.
WWJD? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m not a theology guy. I’m uncomfortable speaking for His responses to specific circumstances.
I know He’d be on the side of love. I’m pretty sure He wouldn’t fire off a mean tweet.
And I don’t think He would try to manipulate someone by asking WWJD.