Oh sure it was cute at first. The acronym of What Would Jesus Do emblazoned on wristbands and t-shirts on the shelves of every Christian bookstore. W.W.J.D. What a concept. As I go through my daily routine I was encouraged to ask the question. What would Jesus do?
Morning – 8:00am
The cashier at the coffee shop gives me a $10 dollar bill instead of a $1 bill for my change. I realize the oversight immediately, but she doesn’t. I’m tempted.
Morning – 9:27
Driving up the busy street. Lady in car on cell phone realizes the light is green…she takes off on yellow leaving me stuck at the light again. I’m ticked!
Lunch – 12:00 noon
Eating lunch with friend…asks me if I heard the latest gossip about so and so… I’m all ears.
Okay…enough of it already..we all remember the drill.
I understand the good intentions behind the concept of WWJD. It would be great if all of us did the things that Jesus did in the ethical and moral dilemmas. But you know what? Who cares? What is the point of asking what Jesus would do? What’s the point of even answering the question. What’s the point of even trying to do what He would do if we can even come up with the answer in the first place.
The whole point of Salvation is that we become the type of people who just naturally do the things that Jesus did, not go through life trying to figure it out. Dallas Willard said this about the WWJD movement: "The problem with the What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) movement is that in most cases Jesus would not have to ask the question. He would know. This is what we are expected to grow into."
Wouldn’t it be foolish to think that Jesus would wear a bracelet that stated WWID (what would i do?)
For obvious reasons he didn’t need to ask that question. He just did what came naturally to him. He did the will of the Father.
Maybe we should consider WJHAD (what Jesus has already done). Maybe we would be better off looking at the Christ who came to this earth as a man to serve and not to be served. The man who spent as much time in solitude and silence as he did in front of large crowds. The man who fasted and withstood the best Satan could muster for 40 days. The man who was approachable and enjoyable. The man who risked his reputation to hang out with the lowest of low. The man who ushered in the availability of the Kingdom, opening its doors to the poor, meek, and rejected. The man who took in a group of men, made them his apprentices, and equipped and empowered them to change the world. The man whose gospel was a subversive, slow growing, kingdom/network that doesn’t storm in violently or coerce, but magnetically attracts those who would be entranced by it’s beauty. The man who believed so much in this gospel, that he would be humiliated, beaten, mocked, and killed.
Those are the things that Jesus did. And he did them so I wouldn’t have to ask what he would do, but that I would as Dr. Willard eloquently stated "be transformed into the type of people that would do the things he would do if he were I."
Wristbands, hats, and t-shirts share one common bond. They are external. While WWJD may produce good behavior from time to time, it lacks the power to change the heart. The heart change comes from an ongoing communion with Christ through His spirit. The natural result of that? IDWJWD.