If you grew up in 1990s, there’s a good chance you collected Beanie Babies, watched the Power Rangers, had a No Fear T-shirt, and tried to master rollerblades.
You may have also had a W.W.J.D bracelet.
The phrase W.W.J.D.—”What would Jesus do?”—was everywhere in the mid-90s. Everywhere. Bracelets, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, shirts, hats, and yes, underwear. (I told you it was everywhere.) Those who started this movement had good intentions: to remind Christians to think before acting and live according to the standard in God’s Word.
W.W.J.D. was nothing new.
- Roman Catholics have given the concept emphasis since the 15th century, when Thomas à Kempis wrote The Imitation of Christ.
- Charles Spurgeon frequently asked the question “What would Jesus do?” in his sermons.
- The book In His Steps, written in 1896, also popularized the question, “What would Jesus do?”
But the W.W.J.D. fad took this to a whole new level. Everyone was sporting these four initials in some form without ever thinking about it. And many jumped on the W.W.J.D. bandwagon and didn’t even know what it meant! My sons survived middle school during this time, and all their friends—including their non-Christian friends— were wearing the bracelets because they looked cool.
I remember sitting at a red light behind a Very Expensive sports car, and the car had a W.W.J.D. bumper sticker. My first thought was “What would Jesus drive?”
Because W.W.J.D. became so trendy, it lost its significance and it impact on our lives. And the concept was not without its shortcomings.
Can we really know what Jesus would do?
Maybe. Maybe not. We may not be able to determine every action Jesus would take in our shoes, but we can know His mindset. Everything Jesus does is immersed in love and humility.
And we are to have the exact same mindset.
Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:5-8).
Whatever we do is to be immersed in humility and love—love for God and love for others. (Read all of Philippians 2, and this will be obvious.)
I doubt humility will ever be popular or trendy, but should W.W.J.D. ever make a comeback, just remember: whatever Jesus does flows out of His love and humility.
And that should be what flows out of us.