I’m starting a series on “WWJD.” Remember those little wristbands from the 90’s? In these days of identify politics, I think I’ll opt for one of those.
(Just to clarify, WWJD stands for “What Would Jesus Do?”)
It’s dangerous to prooftext to make a sweeping interpretation, so I’m looking for concepts, meaning multiple scriptures that come together to say “this is a theme.” Frankly, I’m thinking about what Jesus really would do if he were walking around in 2021.
Also, I’m not seminary-trained, but I don’t think that’s a requirement for figuring out what Jesus would do. We can all read. We can all decide for ourselves what we think Jesus would do, which is the opposite of bending him to fit our narratives. (Sometimes that’s so hard.)
On another note, a thing that’s important to me is talking about Jesus openly—not in hushed tones for church folk only. As a non-Christian friend of mine once said in admiration, “Jesus was quite a hellraiser.” I hope my Christian AND non-Christian friends can take a look at what Jesus would do on timely topics. It’s fascinating.
I’ve been thinking about personal freedom a lot, so I’ll start there.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:13-14
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” 1 Cor. 9:19
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” 1 Cor. 10:23-24
“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”
1 Peter 2:16
So……personal freedom is a big deal in the world of Jesus-ness.
But……it’s not to take priority over kindness to others.
WWJD? I think he lived his life as free as a bird. He literally could have done whatever he wanted. Stand up for his rights, so to speak. He was tempted to. (See Matthew 4.) But he chose not to. He always seemed to turn conventional wisdom upside down. After being tempted to exercise his personal freedom, he spent the rest of his life teaching us to prioritize others over ourselves.
PS–thanks for use of the photo, Nita Bug.