Do you remember the bracelets and bumper stickers and posters that said “What Would Jesus Do?” The idea was to try to think like Jesus in a given situation. Sounds like a pretty good idea, right?
Shoot, I imagine what characters would do all day long. Henry faces a traumatic life event–what would he do? Margaret wants to help her little sister–what would she do? Perla and Casewell are feeling the condemnation of the community–what would they do? I LOVE pondering these issues and often find myself writing just to see what the character will do.
But it’s all imaginary. It’s all speculation. And because my characters aren’t real and I can do with them as I please, it all works out just fine. And even if it doesn’t, well, that’s what editing is for.
Jesus, on the other hand, is real. And we have a Bible chock full of what Jesus DID do. So, as Rev. Jim Wilken pointed out to us in church yesterday, “What would Jesus do?” is the wrong question. The question is, what DID he do?
- Ready to blast people who have made questionable decisions in their lives? When Jesus met the woman at the well he definitely held her accountable for her poor choices, but he also gave her hope for the future.
- Feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do and all the demands on your life? When things got a little hectic for Jesus he made time to get alone with God. (And if you claim to be busier and more in demand than Jesus–well, dwell on that a moment. I’ve been guilty of it myself.)
- Are you afraid? Are you dreading something that seems incredibly hard? When it was time to go to the cross, Jesus told God exactly how he felt about it. And then he did it anyway.
If you think about what Jesus might do if he were in your shoes, you take a chance on getting it wrong. If you think about what he did do when he was walking around in a pair of worn sandals, you can’t go wrong. So, next time you’re struggling, stop and think–what did Jesus do? I’m betting scripture will hold your answer.