“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”                    —Jesus in Matthew 11 (ESV)

Remember those woven WWJD bracelets from the 90s? They were quite a fad for a while. Maybe you even had one. I missed the boat on the fad in the 90s (I wasn’t quite cool enough, and to be honest, wasn’t all that interested in Jesus either), but I did my part to try to bring the fad back while I was in college. Outside of a few people in my campus ministry, it never really caught on…

What would Jesus do? That’s what WWJD stands for—and it is a good question. Though the bracelet fad lived in the 90s, the phrase came from a book written in 1896. Charles Sheldon wrote In His Steps about a community of faith that committed to asking this question before making any decision—and pretty spectacular things happened. Of course, it is a work of fiction, but there is truth to the story. When we submit all our decisions to do what Christ would do, God can do amazing things through God’s people.

WWJD is great question. But I’m learning it may not be the best question as we try to make decisions about how to live our lives. A better question, I think, would be to ask, “How did Jesus live?” What was Jesus’ way of life? What kind of life did he live?

And here’s why I think it’s a better question: We ask WWJD in the face of difficult and weighty situations—and what Jesus would do is often a really, really a hard thing, something that is not what we would naturally do. So we struggle with doing the hard thing Jesus would do in that situation. But what we often forget is that the great and difficult things Jesus did in his life are not isolated instances. Rather, they are birthed out of a life lived in glad submission to God in prayer and study and fellowship and worship and small acts of service all the time. It was his way of life. When we ask “How did Jesus live?” and work to live our lives that way, it will give us the rooting and grounding in an intimate relationship with God to do the hard, challenging, and unnatural thing when the time comes.

One author said it this way: “The secret of the easy yoke, then, is to learn from Christ how to live our total lives, how to invest all our time and our energies of mind and body as he did.” (Dallas Williard, Spirit of the Disciplines).

When we seek to live our total lives in the way Jesus did, even in the boring and mundane moments, God will enable us to follow Jesus in the hard situations too. And when we live in The Way of Jesus, God will do great things through us all.



Comments are closed.