Why the Goal Is NOT “What Would Jesus Do?”
When at first we come as babes to Christ, everything Jesus says seems hard:
- serve yourself last
- love your enemies
- live by faith
- whoever wants to be great must become a servant
- the last will be first and the first will be last
- you are blessed when people insult and persecute you because of me
But, says Dallas Willard, “True Christlikeness, true companionship with Christ, comes at the point where it is not hard to respond as he would” (The Spirit of the Disciplines).
Willard is saying that true Christlikeness is not asking, “What would Jesus do?” in a particular situation. Rather, he’s saying that when we’re like Christ, we won’t have to ask the question because our thinking and actions will come naturally. We’ll respond as Jesus would.
When this happens, the life of Christ will have become our life.
Thus, when Paul says in Romans 13:14 to ” . . . clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ”, he’s not saying to put on your “Christ coat” when dealing with the horrible neighbors, and then take it off when you’re back home with your kids.
Putting on Christ is putting on his way of life—permanently and totally.
When we’re babes in Christ it’s appropriate to ask, “What would Jesus do?” because we’re learning a new way of life.
But the goal is to grow and mature in Christ and be so completely submitted to the Holy Spirit living in us that we no longer need to ask that question because his life will have become ours.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Heinz is the Founder and CEO of Munyay, which creates coaching solutions to help you love your life and work. He’s also the Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc. and is an ICF Certified Coach and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Chris enjoys coaching people, writing, and speaking on the topics of engagement, coaching, strengths, prayer, and the Christian life. He’s the author of the Made to Pray book and prayer assessment. Chris lives with his wife and three children in central Pennsylvania, where they play at their cabin-on-a-creek.