On the steering wheel of my truck there is a cover with the letters WWJD on it. As most of you know, that stands for “What Would Jesus Do?”. For a long time you could find all sorts of new WWJD merchandise everywhere. Maybe it was because some people thought the world was about to end and they thought they needed to have their bases covered. Who knows? Now a days though, I don’t see it around as much. Like most marketing campaigns, it got played out just like the Jesus fish. Yeah, you still see it around, but it’s just not as popular as it used to be. It lost a lot of its stickiness. This post will try to explain why I think that is.
While I think the overall purpose behind these types of marketing campaigns are cool, I think they mean next to nothing when it comes to someone’s spiritual development. Sometimes I think it may even be an indicator that the person themselves may not be convinced of their faith. The only reason I keep the cover on my steering wheel is because it belonged to my dad. So every time I see it, it reminds me of his struggle to strive toward heaven while his feet were still cemented in the world. I’m not saying that it’s true across the board. I’m just saying that’s been my experience.
I remember one time this lady hit my car. I was blowing my horn to let her know that she was about to hit me, but she wasn’t paying attention. After she hit me, we got out of the car and starting going through the motions of apologizing and explaining what happened. I asked her for her insurance information, but instead of giving it to me she pointed at her Jesus fish symbol on her trunk and said, “You know you can trust me. See.” She said she was in a rush and asked that we discuss it over the phone later. I said that was fine. A couple days later I gave her a call. She answered, but when I identified who I was, she hung up. She never answered my calls again. I just had to laugh.
Some time later they were selling those Jesus fish at my church and they asked if I wanted to buy one. I said I didn’t. Of course they tried to convince me. The seller asked, “Don’t you want everyone to know you love Jesus?” I replied, “I don’t care if everyone knows. I only care if He does.” That didn’t go over too well. Once word got around that I said no to purchasing the Jesus fish, people started treating me differently. They thought something must be wrong with me if I was the only one not rock the latest Jesus gear. It didn’t matter how much time I spent in church or studying the Bible. No Jesus fish on your car meant no Jesus in your heart. No offense, but they were people who demanded signs. I was tempted to remind them that in Matthew 21:11-13 Jesus was recorded to have flipped over the tables of the sellers in the church and in John 2:14-16 it even says he used a whip to get them out of there. I’d say I let them off easy by just saying no.
Another Jesus propaganda incident came about when a captain in the Air Force was trying to get over on me. I had shown him in the regulations how he was not treating me fairly, but he kept trying to make this pointless argument. Eventually it got to where there was nothing else he could say to me. The regs were in my favor and the only way he was going to get what he wanted was if I surrendered, which I wasn’t going to do. So as a last resort he tried to pull the spiritual card on me. Like most people he thought Jesus was a punk so he tried to use Him to punk me. He looked me right in the face and asked why I was giving him so much trouble by pulling out regulations and writing letters up the chain. Then he opened his mouth and literally said, “Now what would Jesus do?” He pulled the WWJD on me. I couldn’t believe it. I could handle all the hoops that he made me jump through, but I couldn’t take that. I stared right back at him and told him directly, “Don’t you ever ask me that question again. If you knew what Jesus would do we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” He just blinked and then said, “You didn’t have to say that.” He might have been right, but after that the subject was closed.
The way I see it, Jesus came to be an example to us, not a distraction. He did what He came to do. So to me the question isn’t what would he do, it’s what are we going to do? It seems to me that’s the question we all should be asking ourselves. Believe me, I don’t have a problem with Jesus gear, WWJD friendship bracelets, or any of that stuff. I just don’t think that wearing that stuff on the outside has anything to do with what’s going on with a person on the inside. That’s why a lot of those campaigns lose momentum after a while. That’s the nature of everything in the world. They pass away just like Jesus said both heaven and earth will do someday. They’re supposed to. We should know by now that the things that last forever can’t be seen. Jesus understood that. So if you really want to know what he would do, start there.