Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Would Jesus REALLY Do?

            One of the greatest novels that I have ever read was In His Steps by Charles Sheldon.  The book beautifully illustrates a church’s efforts to follow in Christ’s footsteps.  Members of the congregation vow to not do anything without first asking the question, “What would Jesus do in my place?”, and then faithfully obeying whatever they truly believe He would do.  
Sound somewhat familiar?  That’s probably because this book began the “WWJD?” craze of the 90’s.  Even though Christ’s message was spread broadly across the country, this period of Christian history is unfortunately often characterized as one being filled with people who simply chose to wear the name, the t-shirt, the bracelet, etc. – but who never really cared enough to live it out.  So was In His Steps really just something that simply passed away, having little lasting effect on the world?  I believe that though this book may have started a temporary craze, its message will not wither away. This is because the message of this novel was based solely on the Holy Word of God:
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21, ESV)
            For most of our lives we have been told that Jesus was the best example to follow, but I don’t believe I really understood just how true that was until I read this novel.  There are many examples to follow in the world, and most people have someone whose example they strive to follow.  Most choose someone well known; perhaps someone who has donated money to a charity, started a foundation to help the needy, or even risked their lives and reputations to change something for the good of others.  These things are great, but remember: none of these people are perfect.  Romans 3:23 says, 
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
            They are all corruptible, just like you and I.  Jesus is the only true role model.  He alone was perfect.  Becoming a true Christian begins with deciding for yourself that you will follow faithfully in His steps. 
My challenge to you is to be like those in the book who took a vow to be faithful to the Lord.  This week, before doing something, first ask yourself what Christ would do if put in your place.  After asking yourself this, follow that decision – no matter how difficult it may seem at the time. Then leave a comment below saying how this effort impacted your situation.  Perhaps sharing your story could encourage someone else in their walk with Christ! 
May God help you and bless you as we endeavor together to follow in His steps!