Stop Asking ‘What Would Jesus Do?’


It is challenging as a follower of Jesus to know what to do all the time. Do you remember those ‘WWJD’ bracelets? I do. They were popular when I was in high school. What would Jesus do? It’s a good question no matter what situation we are in. But is it the best question?

I’m inspired me to write this post by something I read on facebook. My friend, and reader of this blog, Keith Ward wrote:

“The question is not so much what would Jesus do here, but rather what is Jesus doing here and join in.”

The sentence is simple and yet challenging.

Keith Ward What Would Jesus Do‘What Would Jesus Do’ Messes with your Thinking

It is a good thing to ask what Jesus would do, right? Well, sort of. The question is a great reminder that we are Jesus followers. We are his representatives in his world. But if this is the end of the question, we miss something huge.

The ‘what would Jesus do’ question emphasises our obligation to carry out his work. There is nothing wrong with this. Following Jesus means doing what he did. It is part of the way we show him to others. We are his representative in his world. But if this is where we stop, it leaves a God who theoretically interacts in our life. In other words, Jesus is passive, but we are active.

But is this true? Is Jesus sitting around in heaven hoping we would do what he did? I hope not.

The Bible’s story is God’s continual interaction for his people. It is all over the place. He calls Abraham. The prophets deliver his messages. He sends Israel into exile and brings them back. God’s interaction is most evident in Jesus. God is not passive but engages in his world. We miss this truth when we only ask ‘what would Jesus do?’

The second part of Keith’s statement is so powerful is because it expects Jesus is active in our life. There’s an important mind-shift from a passive Jesus to an active one. This is vital. What we do is still important but it is in-line with what he is doing in our life.


What Jesus is Doing Changes Things

My struggle with depression is something I have written about before. I wish I didn’t struggle at times. God can remove it but he hasn’t. But Jesus is still doing something. My experience helps me to understand the hope I have in Jesus. Hope is not wishful thinking by anticipation of Jesus’ return and set everything right. Showing me this hope is what Jesus has been doing in my life. He is active, but so am I. I am learning to live with the expectation of seeing my hope become reality.

I could come up with lots of answers if I just asked what would Jesus do in my situation. And they would be good. Pray. Fast. Seek other counsel. All good things. But I would have missed what Jesus was doing now.

This is my situation. Please leave a comment about yours. I’m sure it will be an encouragement to someone.

2 thoughts on “Stop Asking ‘What Would Jesus Do?’”

  1. I’m also struggling with depression but learning to trust the Lord more all the time. In a way, it’s drawing me closer to Him. Setbacks are difficult, that’s for sure. It’s not easy. But there is hope!

    • Hey Jeremy. Thanks for sharing. Depression is hard, and set backs are terrible, but hold onto what God is doing. Drawing you closer and proving his trustworthiness. That’s precious.


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