A bracelet with ‘What Would Jesus Do’ is one of the more irritating items I come a across in Christian book shops. This is definitely more ‘Christian/religious’ than Kingdom and more of a cliché based on poor teaching than the reality of our life as sons and daughters of God. It ranks along side the other cliché, ‘Keeping close to Jesus.’ Both are mistaken since we live in the age of Christ in us where Christ is intertwined in our being by the Spirit who dwells richly in us.
Both uses are unfortunate because they reveal an attempted Christian life in something other than what is ours. I mean a life in churchianity, Christianity, religion, works and the knowledge of good and evil – all of which are knock-offs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, our shared life in Christ and the teaching of Paul. As J Baxter Kruger noted with accuracy and wit,
‘It’s not about you inviting Jesus into your life. It’s about Jesus already including you in His.’
Many Christians live in a dualism of us and Him. Hence the need to keep close to Jesus because He is somewhere - else but not your life. Or living in the bewilderment and pressure of daily choices as though you are on your own and Jesus is waiting somewhat apart waiting to be called on to give advice. But He is not He is in you and with you. By the One Spirit He pervades our being. He is part of us. We are not orphans. He is with us and in us. We are joined to God. We and Father are one. This is Christ’s achievement for us. Yet He is with us as a distinct person, not smothered but ourselves in spirit and in truth. As genuine sons and daughters we do what Jesus did because we are the expression of His person.
In Trinitarian Conversations, the authors write,
That WWJD paradigm is: Jesus isn't doing
anything, so I've got to do something for him. You can get into that. But notice everything's thrown back on you. Because Jesus made it possible, all you have to do is make it actual and real. That is a huge burden, and it leads to burnout in ministry …
Wouldn't the picture be better and more accurate if
we asked, ‘What is Jesus doing now, today, by the
Spirit, and how can I get involved?’ But that wouldn't
fit on a bracelet ... The better question would be, What
is Jesus doing, and how can I get involved or
participate? Instead of thinking that Jesus isn't doing
anything and so I have to do it for him or instead of
him. That's the road to burnout in the Christian life
and especially in Christian ministry.
Your fruitfulness and ability to give life comes from the fact that you actually alive because Christ is your life. You are hidden in Him and formed in Him, yet the manifestation of yourself in your everyday world exposes the reality of His presence. Certifies you unique personhood as a son and representative of our Father and releases the kind of life that is not religions but is life without limit.