Vincere = Actions = The Will of God
Vincere = Conquer in Latin
PART FIVE OF SIX
W.W.J.D. What would Jesus Do? If you were paying attention in the mid-1990s, you are well aware of the W.W.J.D. craze that was happening. Youth and children all over the place were wearing bracelets that read W.W.J.D., as well as t-shirts, hats, you name it.
In doing a little research, I found that there is a lot of criticism out there regarding this movement. People disapproved of the consumerism involved. Some said it was flawed in its theology. Is not it impossible to know what Jesus would do, after all?
We have been talking about conquering ourselves this week. We started with conquering the heart, then the mind, then the tongue. But now it is time for action; or lack thereof in many cases. Softening our hearts, taking our thoughts captive, and bridling the tongue are the first lines of defense for our actions. If we have those three in line, our actions should follow suit. But what if we are still tempted to take a sinful action? How do we handle this?
We should always seek to be Christlike in every situation. However, asking W.W.J.D. is a little problematic. We are not God and we cannot compare our feeble minds to His. Remember Paul’s writing, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).”
Also, some people wearing the bracelets really did not know who Jesus is to begin with. It was just a cool thing for many to do. But you know what? If my children came home wearing a W.W.J.D. bracelet, I would not mind at all. There are some teaching moments that could be found and I would take it as a desire to want to follow Christ better.
Additionally there is an ethical problem when comparing our ethics with Jesus. There is a fundamental difference in what Jesus would do ethically compared to the rest of sinful humanity. He was the perfect Lamb of God and, well, we are not even close.
Acknowledging these problems with asking W.W.J.D., then how are we to be Christlike?
Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10). This is being Christlike, or striving for it, recognizing that an imperfect person chasing Perfection is unattainable, but striving for it anyhow.
We cannot know the commandments without studying them systematically. Psalm 19:11 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
I still think W.W.J.D. could be useful to someone that is right with the Lord and seeking Him. Maybe a better question, though, would be, “What would Jesus have me do? (W.W.J.H.M.D)” In other words, “What is His will in this situation?”
We have to conquer our sinful actions, which many times takes the form of our habits. A lot of this is using the brain and the good sense that the Lord gave you and setting up safeguards against your actions. If you struggle with alcohol, do not go to a bar and avoid the beer aisle at the store, for starters. If you struggle with drugs, you might have to get rid of some of your friends who are a trigger for you. If it is sexual sin, you can take action by setting up roadblocks on your phone, computer, or television. Some might find it prude in today’s age, but our pastoral staff has an agreement with each other that we will never be alone with a female other than our wives. If one is trying to be abstinent, that decision is made way before the first date.
We are weak. We have to admit it. That is another reason W.W.J.D. is not as easy as it sounds. But our actions still can be conquered. We can store up God’s word in our hearts, so that we might not sin against Him. We can write W.W.J.H.M.D. (What would Jesus have me do?) figuratively on our hearts in permanent marker, as we surrender to live a life that seeks the will of God each and every day, in every single situation. W.W.J.H.M.D. – It’s not near as catchy, but it’s much more sound.
Just for today, let Jesus conquer your actions. Write W.W.J.H.M.D. on your heart to deal with each and every circumstance.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Six……