WWJD During These Hard Times?


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WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?

Lately I’ve been hearing people say, “2020 is turning out to be a very. bad. year.”

Agreed. And not in just one corner of the globe, but all around it. People are tired, worried, and afraid. So perhaps it’s time to revisit an acronym that peaked in popularity for Christians in the 1990s: WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?

The intent of the acronym — which appeared on loads of products, including jewelry, keychains, book covers, T-shirts, bumper stickers, school binders, and more — was to remind Jesus followers to pause and ponder before “doing.” To know why we think the way we do, and take the actions we take. Asking, “WWJD?” to discern the answers to fluff questions (“Cap’N Crunch cereal or Cocoa Puffs?”) doesn’t work so well. But it does help us to answer big, weighty questions, including how to respond to our weariness, worry, and fears around COVID-19 and the hatred fueling racism.

What Would Jesus Do? The Bible gives us two clear action steps that help us to manage fatigue and anxiety — and know how to love others. 


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What Would Jesus Do … to withstand life’s pressures?

If still housed in His human body, it’s possible that Jesus might endorse chilling with serenity candles, green tea smoothies, and feel-good reruns of Touched By an Angel, Little House on the Prairie, and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

But in His low-tech life of dust and donkeys, the Bible tells us that when Jesus needed recharging, replenishing, and renewing, He didn’t turn to TV or Facebook, but to God. Don’t miss this: He got alone … in quiet solitude … with the Giver of Life. So, to be like Jesus, we also should unplug and tune in to God without interruption or distraction.

It’s popular these days for Christians to set up “prayer closets” in their homes or offices. I’m not gonna lie; the first time I heard of a “prayer closet,” I thought it was hokey. But, really, what’s not to love about space you dedicate for God chats, whether in a corner of your bedroom or an actual closet. Especially if you post this sign for others: “Thus Sayeth the Lord, ‘Thou Shalt Not Interrupt!'” 

God, alone, can fill us with the real hope, peace, and calm we desperately need. He’s the only one with any real control over this crazy world, and deep down we know it. In God we gain the only relationship in which we can fully unload, share, and confess — and still be 100 percent understood and accepted. Amazing grace! When we rest in His grace, we can escape the pull of this crazy world.

Modern life is so fast-paced that we NEED these regular one-on-one recharge sessions to get our minds straight about what’s really important, so that we live lives that honor Him. But let’s admit that we are a society super uncomfortable with stillness and silence. A society SUPER uncomfortable admitting and addressing the difficult issues seething in our society today.

As we’re seeing so clearly right now, ignoring hate doesn’t make it goes away. It festers and grows, turning violent. To be part of the solution, God tells us, repeatedly, to pray. To invite Him to move and purify our hearts and minds — because we humans do a really lame job of loving, affirming, and supporting each another on our own. Hating someone because of their skin color? Stupid.

I get that prayer feels HARD. And not only because it requires focus and silence, but because we’ve been trained to rely on our own strength as we attempt to keep up by multi-tasking. We’re drowning — and we know it — so we run faster on the hamster wheel, instead of skidding to a stop and looking up. Do we not recognize God’s great love and limitless power? You and I MUST meet regularly with God in prayer, if we are to love well and selflessly, to right wrongs that will heal our great country. 

Like you and me, Jesus was incredible busy. Once word got out that He was the man to see for free healing, He was dogged by crowds everywhere He went. Faced with their endless need, Jesus recognized His great need to slip away for “God time” to keep his priorities straight. We should do the same.

The Bible doesn’t tell us that Jesus ever got cranky (okay, there was that time He pushed over the temple vendor tables). But it does tell us that He got tired. And so full of fear and anxiety on the night before His crucifixion, that blood mingled with the sweat on His brow. In those low moments Jesus didn’t “lose His religion.” He did the opposite: He connected with the only source that could provide the hope and strength and peace He desperately needed to do what He came to do. 

Jesus was able to stay consistent, because He was consistent in seeking God, who stilled, refilled, and directed Him.


What Would Jesus Do … to reflect God’s love?

Jesus did not swerve in His commitment to honor God with His words and actions. He hinged His behavior on our two greatest commandments: Love God, and love others. Period. Not just the people we want to love. But everyone that God loves … which is everyone. White. Black. Tall. Short. Gay. Straight. Rich. Poor. Capitalist. Socialist. Atheist. Committed Christ-follower. Everyone.

Basically, we are to follow The Golden Rule: do unto others as we’d like them to do to us. Not when we feel like it. And not when it’s convenient. But as our go-to default, the bullseye we are to aim for — with every bit of our heart, and soul, and mind, and strength.

Want your fears to be calmed? Calm the fears of others. Want to experience peace? Offer the peace of Jesus. Want understanding? Default to seek to understand others. Jesus reminds us that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Serve, where you can, when you can, and as best you can. Above all, LOVE. 

Let me blunt here: if you have hate in your heart toward other persons because of their skin color or sexual orientation, you definitely should ask yourself, “WWJD with my hate?” Friend, He would tell you that you are NOT living up to the “love your neighbor as yourself” part of Matthew 22.

What are some steps you can take right now to show God and others that you admit that racism is totally unacceptable? You can educate yourself on the racial history of our country. You can graciously engage in conversation with your non-White friends. You can acknowledge that privilege in this country has ALWAYS been unfairly distributed on the basis of color. And you can offer a helping hand, that others may rise.

Some really good links to educate you, so you’ll actively become part of the solution to end racism. Start with this sermon by Jeff Jones, the lead pastor of Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas. Watch movies like Selma and this documentary, which painfully confirm the white on black hate that is an inexcusable part of our nation’s history. Watch every Netflix and Prime program on the topic that you can get your eyes on. Read fiction and non-fiction books. Educate yourself on the truth, even if it requires changes in your life that are inconvenient.

Only God knows what’s in store for us for the remaining months of 2020. If we will produce hope and love, or future hate. You and I, through our attitude, words, and actions, will determine which. WWJD? #letsbelikeJesus 


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Sheri writes and edits for Josh McDowell Ministry.

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5 Responses to “WWJD During These Hard Times?”

  1. Dan Muenchau

    Praying is very hard for me. I’m terrible at it. It’s difficult and seems petty for me to ask for small things and personal things (like, for example, protect me from Covid). On the other hand, it seems presumptuous of me to ask for important, all-encompassing things like world peace and such. I can’t find a balance. The best I can do is ask for God’s mercy and Grace for everyone and stop there.
    Your last paragraph rings true for me. Serve God by serving others. My best prayers are acted out, not in words, but in actions. Serving others. I need to take your advice though and learn to be still and really talk to God. Keep teaching me. You’re making a difference.

    Reply
      • Dan Muenchau

        “Want your fears to be calmed? Calm the fears of others. Want to experience peace? Offer the peace of Jesus. Want understanding? Default to seek to understand others. Jesus reminds us that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Serve, where you can, when you can, and as best you can. Above all, LOVE.”
        Powerful words!
        And your suggestions on confronting racism head on, ending with “… you can offer a helping hand, that others may rise.“ Even more powerful!

        Reply
        • Sheri Bell

          Thanks, Dan. Appreciate your feedback. Glad you found the article helpful. 😉

          Reply
  2. Mildred L Buchanan

    CAN YOU NOT SEE ME
    Gen. 1:26a And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

    Take the time to look can you not see me made in His image I came to be
    In the image of God created from the dark dust of the earth created He me
    Blew into my nostrils His breath of life and my soul came into being
    God looks on the inside so it’s not the color of my skin determining my worth that He is seeing
    But what we do with the grace and mercy given unto us to help one another is what He is seeking

    Made in His image so I am not a boy or girl no matter the color of my skin tone that is part of my being
    I am your brother/sister no matter the deceit that causes the lies that I am half human that you have been hearing
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you for we will all stand before His judge hall
    To answer the question of how you could enslave your brothers/sisters and not hear the agony of their call
    Knowing that slavery is a disease thought up by the enemy to ensnare and separate us one and all

    The greatest commandment God gave to love one another open your eyes and you will see
    And know to enslave me does not change the fact that I am made in His image like you we came to be
    To take away my liberty and humiliate me is an insult to the Creator for He made both you and me
    Beating and taking away my dignity will not erase the fact that we are brothers/sisters even with my dark skin
    What affects you and me depends on how we treat each other for despite our different skin colors we are kin

    Brothers know this that God makes no mistakes and how we live together in harmony will tell the real story
    When we meet with He who sits on the throne for He created it all to see if our lives bought Him glory
    For in the end we are our brother’s keepers and harmony can only be found if we keep His commands
    Treating each other with love and kindness not segregation and division while living in this old sinful land

    Please color me with the brush of love with the tint of humility running through my actions toward all humanity
    When me and my brother /sister of a different color made in the image of God blend together then we will find liberty
    Separation and discrimination does not please the Creator who made us out of the same dusty clay of the earth
    But to live in harmony and peace will please Almighty God and He will call us the children of Light
    Then our eyes will be closed to the different skin colors determining our worth and our future will shine ever so bright

    Written under the unction of the Holy Ghost
    By
    Evangelist Mildred L. Buchanan

    “© Mildred L. Buchanan, COME LET US REASON TOGETHER”.

    Reply

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