“WWJD”, otherwise known as What Would Jesus Do, was a hugely popular acronym that swept the world during the 1990’s. Emblazoned on everything from bracelets, t-shirts, purses, and Bible covers to bumper stickers, the craze took off in fad like fashion. All the “cool” Christians owned multiple bracelets and if you didn’t have a bracelet along with some type of fish sticker in public view, you just weren’t being the witness God called you to be. Recently memories of this fad have been creeping up in my mind. While WWJD paraphernalia is still sold, the fiery fad has faded to embers and bright yellow “Livestrong” bracelets are what all the world changers don. With all of the eyes of the world turned to change and all the hearts of the world searching for fulfillment, this is our hour and our time to actually live “WWJD”.
How often did the people that proudly proclaimed these four letters actually act out on the principles and lifestyle of Jesus Christ? Mahatma Ghandi was quoted as saying “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Upon reading this quote a light went off in my mind. As a lifetime Christian, how many times have I said, “I sure hope people don’t look at me the way they look at them.” These thoughts run through my head when I see the “saved” being arrogant, unfriendly, uncooperative, and judgemental. Are we really modeling our lives after Jesus, or are we satisfied to mold our lives into the cookie cutter dogmas of the religious?
Viewed as a revolutionary in his day, Jesus changed religious culture. When he caught a lady in the middle of the act of adultery, he simply told her to go and sin no more. His outrage and his passion was directed at the religious hypocrites of his day, not to the “sinners”. Jesus was not found on center stage during the political debates of his time. On the contrary, people were upset because they thought he came to overthrow the government. Jesus taught principle and he lived by principles. He led by example. Jesus taught us about morality, kindness, and love. Jesus didn’t allow people to discourage him.
He was only thirty when he reached the final climactic years of his ministry and yet could relate to people from all age groups and socioeconomic diversities. Jesus was driven by love and compassion. He was not driven to judge, categorize, and separate. When Jesus spoke harshly, it was towards the religious leaders. His anger was kindled at judgementalism, greed, and betrayal. Poverty, brokenness, loneliness, and sin drove him to the full depths of his love and empathy.
This is not to take away from the principles of God that we know when the Bible is looked at as a whole. We know that God is jealous and will come back with a vengeance at His second coming. We know that God hates sin. However, Jesus said that only the perfect are allowed to cast the stones. While we are waiting for His triumphant return, let us Christians live as Jesus did. How can we prepare people for the delights of heaven and compel them to pure religion if we choose traditions over Jesus, judgments over joy, and hypocrisy over happiness?
James 1:27 tells us “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (KJV). This verse speaks on several levels to me and is exampled in the life of Christ. We need to take care of the less fortunate. If a man asks for bread, give it to him. If someone needs a coat, take off yours. We need to care emotionally, spiritually, and physically for those that are in need of a father, husband, friend, and mentor. The second thing this scripture means to me is that I am responsible for my own walk with God. This doesn’t take away the role of my pastor and spiritual authorities in my life as outlined in the scriptures, but what it means is that unless I am in a ministerial and mentorship role with someone, it is ultimately peoples own choice and decision to keep themselves “unspotted from the world.” This goes hand in hand with Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
What does it mean to be like Jesus? What would Jesus Do? I encourage everyone to follow the teachings of Christ and study them through the scriptures and daily prayer. While you are doing this, let me provide you with the litmus test that Christ gave us to line up to. Love was the ultimate gauge for Jesus and the sermon he preached to his disciples. Love someone today, tomorrow, and every day. Jesus was the perfect Valentine.
John 13:34-35 (NASU)
34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 ” By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”