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What would Jesus do?

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That question is the theme of a book entitled In His Steps, written by Charles Sheldon.

In this fictional story, the people of a town are transformed in wonderful ways when they decide to always ask themselves the question, "What would Jesus do?" before they do anything.

That question has been reduced to four letters (W.W.J.D) and these four letters have become a religious fashion item that generates a lot of cash.

The fact that there is a large demand for such fashion items, shows that the desire for serious Bible study has decreased and the appetite for religious fiction has increased.

Christian bookstores have found that more money is spent on fiction rather than non-fiction, and more is spent on videos, T-shirts, jewelry, and other such items than on books of any kind.

Fiction isn’t necessarily bad, and slogans are not necessarily bad. But when these things replace careful reading and serious study of the scri ptures, it is wrong.

When people wear W.W.J.D. items, but have no interest in studying the life of Christ as revealed in God’s word, such items are worthless.

Perhaps a more effective "slogan" would be one which is taken from the scri pture rather than from a fictional book. "And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way." These are the words of Christ as recorded in Luke 6:31 and are commonly referred to as the Golden Rule. This does not require us to try to determine what Jesus would do. It does require us to give serious thought as to how we would want others to treat us, if we were in their situation. In fact, it goes beyond mere speculation and requires that we actually treat others as we would want them to treat us.

This means that a husband who is in the den watching T.V. while his wife is in the kitchen washing dishes and at the same time trying to get the kids ready for bed, would put himself in his wife’s place. If he did that, he would turn off the T.V. and help his wife. Or let us suppose that someone is selling a used car. If he would put himself in the place of the potential buyer, he would tell the buyer about any potential problems.

There is one problem in trying to practice the so-called Golden Rule. No matter how simple and right this rule is, soon enough we discover that we don’t always live up to it. Often our own self-centeredness and selfishness hinders us. So while this rule teaches us how we ought to treat others, it doesn’t in and of itself give us power over our sins. Only God’s saving grace can deliver us from the power of sin and give us both the desire and the power to do His will. "It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13

Les Walthers

College Street Bookstore

Waxahachie, Texas

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