Image courtesy of Efron Nitrauw

By Beth Groh

Chances are you’ve seen the letters WWJD seared on a bracelet, tee-shirt, bookmark or trinket. Kids who go to Vacation Bible School, church camp or any youth gathering likely will show up with these letters adorned on something.

“What Would Jesus Do?”

A great question—and one that may spur a passing thought or conversation. “Hmmm…what WOULD Jesus do?”

As Christian parents, grandparents or those with a passion for youth, we certainly want to encourage such introspection. If WWJD is the catalyst, GREAT … let’s celebrate such a godly reminder.

But let’s pause for a moment, keeping a biblical worldview, and consider whether that’s truly the best question to ask.

Our pastor once remarked that he would like to use a pen to correct those letters. He thought the better choice would be WDJD – What Did Jesus Do?

When he said that, some in our Bible study class immediately thought, “Isn’t he being a little too nitpicky?” And, frankly, his suggestion didn’t go over so well until he further explained his reasoning.

“What Would Jesus Do” asks us to get into the mind of Christ. It asks us to project our ideas, our interpretations of His life and then determine our own answers about what He would do.

Now certainly we can and should measure our own thoughts and actions against the words and statements of Jesus as recorded in His holy Word.

But our pastor wisely cautioned against trying to step into the mind of Christ, because Scripture tells us we’re incapable of grasping His thoughts—and we may inadvertently give the devil a foothold to tempt us with his first seductive question that hooked Eve into sin: “Did God really say…?” (Gen 3:1)

And God’s Word leaves little doubt about the foolishness of trying to step into the mind of God.

“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)

So how big of a deal is trying to “think like God” anyway?

Think of the trouble it brought Adam and Eve, and consequently, the rest of mankind ever since.

Satan knew their weakness and planted seeds of doubt about the truthfulness—and ultimately, the authority—of God’s Word. “You will not surely die,” Satan said to Eve, luring her into applying her own reason into God’s straightforward command.

Consequently, Original Sin began with man trying to “out think” God—and the battle has been waged ever since over God’s indisputable authority pitted against man’s desire to assert his own authority.

Thanks be to God, we know who will win that battle in the end!

So when we see WWJD, let’s remember to also celebrate WDJD—and use that as a talking point with our family.

We don’t have to guess or wonder what Jesus DID—He loved us so much that He was eager to take our sins on His body and be pierced for us on the cross. His sacrificial gift took our well-deserved punishment away forever, so we could someday be His innocent children worthy of eternal life in heaven.

So WWJD? Gee, I don’t honestly know because, believe me, there are times when His words and actions as recorded in the Gospels take me by surprise.

But, thanks to the gift of faith given me, I do know WDJD. Why not talk about what He has done—and is continuing to do—the next time you see WWJD?!

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