What if we actually did what Jesus did?
Remember the bracelets in the 90s – WWJD? You don’t?
Well they were a thing around the time that Christian music was all the rage and DCTalk were the go-to band.
But what if Christians actually did what Jesus did?
The truth is, back in the 90s we didn’t have social media and the idea that every moment something pops into your head you tweet or hashtag it for the world to see didn’t even occur to us.
I often flippantly use the phrase “Jesus take the wheel …” when I’m looking for a car spot at Westfield, or flippantly refer to extreme right-wing views with the hashtag What Would Trump Do.
Sarcastically, of course.
But if we really think about what Jesus did, it would be a salient reminder that we need to show love when love is really hard. To be kind when it’s the last thing that crosses your mind. To extend grace when it is rarely extended to us.
We are called to be imitators of Jesus in everything we do, in every encounter we face, and to every person we are acquainted with. This “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD) idea is not just for good Instagram captions, it’s good for when you’re feeling lost and alone.
I’m reminded of the apostle Paul and what he says about how we deal with one another in Philippians 2:5: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” He is saying to be like Jesus.
This takes work of course, and moment by moment you make a choice to act in a very specific way. I find the WWJD approach should be more evident than ever in our online conversations and dealings with others.
In this age when everything online elicits a “woke” response, it’s worth taking a step back on maybe saying, “Is it worth getting involved in this?” or even “Would I actually say that to the persons’ face?”
Rather, the real problem was the way I was responding to situations apart from engaging what Jesus would do (or did) in the same situation. Jesus was a prime example for us in every single instance. Moment by moment.
So what would Jesus do in this age of outrage, climate change and social inequity? Would He be agitating on the margins, or lobbying politicians for change? He routinely challenged the status quo, questioned the morality of the day and hung out with people that others didn’t give the time of day.
In some ways the answer is deceptively simple. In Philippians 3:17, Paul says again, “Brothers, join in intimidating me, and walk according to the example you have in us.”
Paul is saying we can’t follow Christ and not imitate his behaviour.
This is an ongoing daily, conscious choice with every breath we take, every decision we make.