December 12, 2015

#WWJD What Would Jesus Do? Wrong Question

If "what would Jesus do?" is the wrong question, what is the right question?

The right question is "what would Jesus have me do where I am, right now"?

For many who want to know what Jesus actually did on Earth, it is fairly easy to read an understandable translation of the New Testament. Some don't have access to Scripture in their language, but even in those cases, radio broadcasts in hundred of languages make most of the Bible available to many people throughout the world.

What would Jesus do?

Jesus lived, in His earthly experience, in a very different place and context than most of us will ever know. Many of the questions and issues we face were unknown and unheard of in Jesus's time.
In a very general way, we can be guided by His principal teachings and the inward leading of the Holy Spirit. But, it is more important and relevant for us to ask the most personal of questions:
"What would Jesus have me do where I am, right now?"

I have listened to Christians outline the negativity of our present times. On and on they go, describing how much they long for the return of Jesus, how much they despise the sin, violence, and godlessness of the present time, how much they are awaiting the physical return of Christ to rule and reign on the Earth, how frustrating it is to live among people who neither know nor care for God, His will, or His way.

I have even listened to some believers state they wished they lived in another---always earlier, sometimes much earlier--time. Did God make a mistake when He placed them in this time and place? According to them, perhaps He did. If He didn't make a mistake, these people are not happy with His choice.

The outward facing nature of this question "what would Jesus do?" sounds holy on the surface, but it isn't a particularly holy question. "What should I do now" is the actionable question that leads to real answers that can be implemented today, next week, and next year. I can create endless imagined answers to the question of what would Jesus do, but how does that translate into what I will do with what God has given me---a place, a time, an identity, and a character that is completely unique and will never be duplicated?

WWJD: bumper sticker, cute phrase, wall hanging, coffee mug, t-shirt, and hat.

What would Jesus have me do where I am, right now: prayer, obedience, teaching, serving, listening, changing, forgiving, sharing, joining with others in God's work, patient cooperation, learning, forgetting, dedication, hard work, perseverance, and love.

What would Jesus have me do where I am, right now: keep the eternal view, focus on the temporal tasks, ask questions, refuse to settle for cheap solutions to difficult problems, speak truth, call things what they are while working on changing them, challenge and test and examine ourselves, practice self-care and group care, remember He left us here with specific callings and purposes.

Let's retire WWJD and and ask the real question that leads to real action: What would Jesus have me do where I am, right now?

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