Maybe you had one of those WWJD bracelets or shirts? I went all out and got the WWJD CD album that included a bracelet (because what Jesus would really do is buy all the WWJD shwag he could get his hands on). But the question that I’ve been finding more challenging, and actually more helpful, is, “What Would I Do?”
The question, originally asked on the blog of Steven Pressfield, author of War of Art, while at first sounding arrogant or egotistical, penetrates to the heart of the journey of becoming fully ourselves. Pressfield put it well:
“The pursuit of What Would I Do leads to non-iconization, non-demonization, non-self-iconization. Its object is the finding of our own voice, the realization of our own selves.”
The problem with the question “What Would Jesus Do?” is that quite often the question is answered by our religious ideals of what Jesus, the super-spiritual superhero Jesus would do, which of course is pray and read his Bible. (Insert your favorite superhero or person you iconize, the question will get a similar result).
The question of “What Would I Do” helps us relinquish the vain pursuit of becoming someone else, and embrace the endless creative possibilities waiting to be unleashed in the person called “you.”
One of the important things that the “WWiD” question provides is context. I’ve heard that once you quit asking “what would Jesus do?”, bring your passions and creativity to the table, and start asking Jesus more “how?” questions, then you start getting some interesting answers. And I wonder if Jesus rather not be our slave master or superhero who has to show up to save the day in his flowy cape, but would prefer the position of coach and mentor as we learn to take care of the world he’s given us.