You Know What WWJD Should Mean?
Dear Friends, I am going to have to give my
pastor John Eliastam credit for this weeks' thort as I heard him
use the analogy in a sermon a couple of months ago (not quite sure
who he 'stole' it from - if it was you, all credit to you as I think
it's pretty good!)
It is a different way of looking at/thinking
about the 'WWJD' bracelets that so many people in the world seem
to wear. WWJD stands for 'What Would Jesus Do?' and so Christians
wear them to remind them to ask themself that question when they
are in a dilemma or tempted in some situation - and so it seems
to make a lot of sense and be a very beneficial thing... and I'm
not saying it's not, but at the same time maybe this week's thort
will help you see that in a different way - for those of you who
don't wear the bracelets, this thort is hopefully still going to
be relevant so please don't stop reading.
Now imagine this situation. I am standing at
the bar counter in the local pub minding my own business and suddenly
this huge giant of a man next to me, tattoos from head to toe, 17
piercings on his face alone, and with the smell of whiskey on his
breath (obviously been drinking for a long time) starts giving me
a hard time and trying to pick a fight... I gaze down at my wrist
and see that I have this nice little red bracelet on my arm with
the letters WWMTD and am reminded what it stands for... WHAT WOULD
MIKE TYSON DO? And I think to myself for half a second - that's
easy... Mike Tyson would probably grab this guy by the throat, smash
his head into the counter and start ripping his piercings out one
at a time to teach him a lesson for picking on the wrong guy...
So I turn to the guy, make a fist with my right hand and...
Later, on the way to the hospital in the ambulance,
I start wondering about where I went wrong...
"Mike Tyson would have no problem
teaching this guy a lesson" and so there's no problem there...
"I tried to do what I thort Mike
Tyson would do" and so there's no problem there...
And then to the melodic sounds of an ambulance
siren, it would probably come to me - "I'm not Mike Tyson!
- I haven't had the training Mike Tyson's had. I don't have the
strength and physique and know-how that Mike Tyson's has. I don't
have the street fight attitude that Mike Tyson has...
And so the bottom line is this - that unless
I am Mike Tyson or have his build and power and authority, there
is little reason for me to walk around with a bracelet reminding
me to ask the question, 'What Would Mike Tyson Do?' because the
answer will have little significance to my life.
If I got myself a gym contract and a few bottles
of steroids and worked out for 5 years solidly and cycled and ran
and pumped lead and trained myself until I looked like Mike Tyson
and had pretty much the same strength and power that he has, then
possibly such a bracelet might start having relevance to me.
And so back to WWJD. Am I saying we should
all throw our 'WWJD' bracelets away because we're not Jesus? Not
at all - what I am saying is that unless we have the power and authority
and the strength that Jesus had, the bracelet is not going to be
all that useful, because if we are physically/emotionally/spiritually
unable to reacy in the same way that Jesus would, then how does
it help asking how He would respond...
The good news is that we are promised the same
kind of power and strength and authority that Jesus had:
"For this reason I remind you to
fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying
on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but
a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." [2 Timothy
"Then Jesus came to them and said,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in
the anme of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely
I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [Matthew
"I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret
of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or
hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything
through Him who gives me the strength." [Philippians 4:12-13]
"But you will receive power when
the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
"Jesus replied, "If anyone
loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and
we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not
love Me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not
my own; they belong to the Father who sent Me. All this I have spoken
while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom
the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will
remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with
you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." [John
"I tell you the truth, anyone who
has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even
greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And
I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring
glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in My name, and
I will do it." [John 14:12-14]
There are just some of the promises Jesus and
others made about the power and strength and authority that has
been given to us by God. And so I am not telling you to throw away
your 'WWJD' bracelets if you are wearing them, but rather to make
sure that you are living with the power and strength and authority
to back it up. And the Bible goes further to tell us that what Jesus
would do is exactly the kind of thing we shoudl be pursuing:
"To this you were called, because
Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should
follow in His steps." [1 Peter 2:21]
"Whoever claims to live in Him must
walk as Jesus did." [1 John 2:6]
That is the one way I think about those bracelets
- there is no power in the bracelet itself and if the slogan has
no real meaning to you then it's just effectively another piece
of jewelry or clothing... so if you wear one of them, make sure
you do think about what it means and do apply it to all kinds of
situations in your life...
Another way that I have thort about that slogan
goes briefly like this:
What Would Jesus Do? If Jesus was here (physically)
He would more than likely often handle the situation differently
than I can/will... but He's not and so for me the question becomes
more 'What Would Jesus Want Me To Do?' in this situation (but I
guess that was too long for a bracelet)
Because that's the real question, surely. With
the power and strength and authority that Jesus has passed on to
me through His Holy Spirit living in me, in this situation that
I am in, in the context that my life is in, at this moment now,
what does He want me to do? A question we do not ask enough (well
I can only speak for myself!)
And so I want to leave you with that challenge
for your life... go through the list...
At my school... What Does Jesus Want Me To
My attitude/action towards the poor and needy
and homeless people in my neighborhood... What Does Jesus Want Me
In my relationship with my parents... What
Does Jesus Want Me To Do?
With my money... What Does Jesus Want Me To
With my time... What Does Jesus Want Me To
The kinds of movies I watch/music I listen
to/books I read... What Does Jesus Want Me To Do?
In my daily relationship time with God... What
Does Jesus Want Me To Do...?
There's a lot of stuff there, and obviously
a lot more that could be as well... and it might be overwhelming
to try get it all sorted out in one go, but I encourage you to pick
one and answer it and then move on to the next one and see where
Jesus leads and then follow... Cos I think that is pretty much what
Jesus would want you to do...