I've been thinking again....
This time about the WWJD movement. Maybe you had a bracelet... or at least saw folks wearing them in the late 90's and early 00's.
Well.... the idea has been bothering me for a while, so I thought I'd sit down and work out why- bear with me- I work things out by writing...
first big issue I have here is this- if you are supposed to think about what Jesus might do in a given situation and imitate him.... what happens when most of the people who are acting on the trend don't know where to look for the authoritative version of what JESUS would DO?!?
The foundational bit necessary to know what Jesus Would Do in any given moment involves going to the source to find out WHO Jesus is first. Too many people wearing a WWJD bracelet run around speaking as if they know what Jesus would want you to do without ever opening up the Bible or taking a look at what's written in Creation (nature).
This leads me to the second issue I have.... if you are speaking for someone else and you don't consult with them first, you are likely to do something that is led by YOUR desire or YOUR assumption. I think of it like someone I don't know trying to order for me at Chipotle- if they don't consult with me directly... or if they have never observed me make other orders before.... they have less than a snowball's chance in Hades of following through on "What Would Dawn Do"....
In Joshua 9, a city that Israel was supposed to conquer sends a group of its leaders out. They're really clever. They bust up their shoes, grab some moldy bread and distress their clothes... then they walk to meet Israel's leaders by an out-of-the-way path. When they get to the camp they lay it on thick- they've been walking for months- they say! They're not even from the same zip code... they just heard how great Israel is and they wanted to sign a peace treaty with them. Joshua 9:14 says "The Israelites sampled their wares, but did not inquire of God"..... As the story goes on, Israel winds up signing a peace treaty not to take the city (that's right in front of them and already drawn up in their battle plans) because they are FOOLED!!
Israel in essence practice "What Would Jesus Do" here.... the world says Jesus is kind and caring and surely would just take folks at their word... especially when they look so tired, worn out and thirsty. BUT, what they should have done is go to God in prayer and ask "What Would You Have Me Do?".... the answer would have been plain and they would not have been tricked into making an oath giving away what God had promised them.
As a related aside- husbands...if you ask first, you sure-as-heck aren't going to come home with the wrong toppings on the burrito!!
"What Would Jesus Do" is the wrong question- it suggests you will consult your knowledge of what Jesus wants... it's too easy for someone/something to insert a different agenda and misrepresent who Jesus really is! The only way to know what Jesus wants at Chipotle is to reach out to him and ask "What Would You Have Me Do" first!!
You can't THINK you know what someone might do without having a relationship with them... and you need to try asking them first anyway.
WWJD... it's just too easy to make yourself or someone else look like a fool.