WDJD?

Several years ago there was a flood of WWJD merchandise on the market. The WWJD stands for "What Would Jesus Do?" It's based on the classic Christian book, In His Steps, by Charles M Sheldon. The book recounts a whole town brought into revival because people began asking themselves this question in the process of daily life. It's been a while since I've read it, but the author, the pastor of a church, challenged himself and his congregation to live out the Gospel in their daily lives by answering this question. The book started out as a message preached in 1896. It's well worth the read if you haven't already done so.

The idea is noble, but asking and doing are two different things. Living overseas at the time this Christian fad broke out, I had a different view of it than some. I saw a lot of visitors to our ministry wearing wrist bands and other Christian paraphernalia tagged with WWJD, but I didn't notice any wholesale revival in the US. My suspicion is that it may have started as a noble idea for the 21st century, but it lacked the earnest follow-through needed for changing people's lives.

The original WWJD was an intentional question—How can I live out the truth of God's graciousness in my daily life? Taken to heart it's more than a noble idea, it's a life challenge. Another way of asking it is—How does what I'm saying and doing genuinely reflect the nature of my Lord Jesus?

Personally, I find this easier to apply in public where I know people will see my life. In private, especially the confines of my thought-life, attitude of heart, and life at home with those who know me best, I'm much more challenged.

I started thinking about all of this while reading through the Gospel of Luke. Perhaps in the 21st century we need to go back to the Gospels to see what Jesus did—hence the WDJD—What Did Jesus Do? Or, I suppose you could make it—DWJD—Do What Jesus Did. Either way, what may sound simple isn't. The disciples closest to Him often struggled with what He said, some of the things He did, and with whom (like prostitutes, tax collectors, beggars, half-breeds, etc.). It really bothered the religious leaders of the day and they did something about it—had Him crucified.

The real question we may need to ask ourselves is—What do I really know about Jesus? No acronyms please! This is an honest question that needs to be answered if we would call ourselves followers of Jesus. Next week I want to look at what got me thinking in this direction. In the meantime, no need to come up with another acronym, whether it's WWJD, WDJD, or DWJD. But I encourage you to think about Jesus (of course!), not just about Him, but what you know about him and how you know Him.