Let's Revisit WWJD?
Jul 16, 2017 - Rev Matt Tuggle
|Play Audio||Download MP3|
- Check out the chart that was referenced in the sermon, and see how you might fill it in for yourself. What situations do you find yourselves in that by engaging in a different transitional action would lead you to a desired inner state of peace and desired outward actions of love?
- Do Jesus’ words here seem harsh to you? Or helpful?
- What would it look like for you to seek reconciliation with someone you’re angry at?
- What do you need to cut out of your life that is causing you to sin?
- What do you need to do to grow in a relationship with God, so that you can more easily and consistently do what Jesus would do?
WWJD? If you are a person who remembers the 90s, besides benefitting from the greatest musical decade of all time, you probably also remember those four letters and know what they stand for. What Would Jesus Do? It was a terrific way to help people, especially youth, remember that Jesus cared about what they did every day.
The problem with that, even today, is that while it’s pretty easy to come up with an answer to, What would Jesus do? It’s a lot harder to actualy do what Jesus would do.
So how do we actually do what Jesus would do?
Looking at what Jesus says in Matthew 5:21-30 won’t help you get to sleep at night, but it is crucial to understanding the answer to that question. These red lettered words seem harsh, but actually they are super helpful.
Jesus is making a connection between an undesired outward action and an undesired inward state. If we want to do what Jesus would do, we not only have to not do the undesired action, we also have to change our undesired inward state. And Jesus is telling us exactly how to do that in the two different examples of murder and adultery.
When we find ourselves wanting to murder someone, or even just angry at them, we need to seek reconciliation.
When we find ourselves wanting to commit adultery, or even just lusting after someone, we need to cut out the thing that is causing us to sin, such as getting rid of our phones, or our facebook accounts, or not going to certain internet sites. [Note: our hands and eyes can’t actually cause us to sin, but that’s how serious Jesus is about changing our hearts.]
By finding a “transitional action,” something that we can do that will help change our inward state like seeking reconciliation or cutting out sin in our lives, we can actually experience peace, which leads to acts of love. Which of course, is exactly what Jesus would do.
For example: Another driver cuts you off. You get angry, and that anger could lead to honking at them like crazy. But if instead you chose a transitional action such as smiling and waving, even if they didn’t see you, it would help move you to a state of peace and not anger.
Now, it takes a lot of work to do those transitional actions consistently. And that’s where our faith comes in. When we do what Jesus did in the little things, it actually transforms us, and we can consistently do what Jesus would do in the big things. When we grow in a relationship with God—through prayer, scripture study, serving one another, spending time in the faith community—we can trust that God will change our hearts, and we will truly be able to do what Jesus would do.