Everyone has heard the saying “WWJD”, right? What would Jesus do? You’ve heard it preached, you have the bracelet, you’ve retweeted it and you may have even posted it as your caption on selfie Sunday. But, how many of us really put this saying to good use?
The truth is, everyone who claims Christ as their savior should be using this phrase daily. And I don’t mean ironically while you’re in line and you can’t decide between the White Chocolate Mocha or the Pumpkin Spice latte.
I like to think of this saying as a reminder for us to show love when love is hard to show. To be kind when kindness doesn’t even cross your mind. To be forgiving in a situation when forgiveness seems impossible. To remain humble in circumstances where humility doesn’t seem like an option.
The Father sent Jesus to earth to die on our behalf, to make eternity with our Creator a reality. He also experienced the pain and hardships of life we face every day; He knows just what we encounter. He provides us with numerous examples in the Bible as to how to respond to any situation that we face.
We are called to be imitators of Jesus in everything we do, in every encounter we face, and to every person we are acquainted with. This “what would Jesus do” idea is not just for good Instagram captions, it’s good for when you’re feeling lost and alone.
It’s “usable” for situations God has placed in your life that you are unsure how to approach. For example, it works for people who are trickier to deal with than others. The apostle Paul says it best in Philippians 2:5: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” He is saying to be like Jesus.
Being imitators requires digging into God’s Word and seeking His ways. Think about the problems you face. I realize that my problems usually weren’t actually the problem. Rather, my real problem was the way I was responding to situations apart from engaging what Jesus would do (or did) in my situation. Jesus’ life exhibits constantly how His followers should act and react.
My mind immediately goes to Jesus carrying His cross toward Golgotha. Any insult anyone could think of, any physical pain anyone could experience was thrown upon Him all at once. I think about if He would have ended it all right there—how much easier for Him it would have been. But He lived out his mission in obedience to God the Father. That’s my ideal representation of the way I should strive to be like Jesus.
One chapter over, in Philippians 3:17, Paul says, “Brothers, join in intimidating me, and walk according to the example you have in us.” It’s impossible, Paul seemed to be saying, to be a follower of Christ and not an imitator of Christ. It’s almost like he’s saying, “Asking yourself, What would Jesus do during every situation you face.
Haley Whigham is a writing student living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.