WWJD bracelets were a huge phenomena of the 2000’s. Every kid had them and would mock other kids in their decision making by jokingly using that four letter phrase. The one part of this little phrase that I think gets misunderstood or simply disregarded is the “D” at the end. What would Jesus do? Not just think. How would Jesus handle himself in this situation? How would Jesus actually act? It’s so easy to say we love every- one, but would we really let all the children come?
I feel as though some people have misconstrued ideas of their faith being “perfect.” As if that’s actually a possibility. The reality is that we don’t know God or that we’re even correct in what we believe. It’s a hard reality to face, I know. We live in a society that thrives on glaring at others’ failures. Well, look at your own. Are you really living as Christ would? Personally, I can say that I certainly struggle with this and am in no way better than my neighbor. Faith isn’t just in our heads; it’s a living, breathing part of our lives. The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If these are supposed to be the indicators of Christian life, then why exactly do we live the lives we do?
Love, it’s what I was raised to believe is the most important teaching the Bible gives us. Show your neighbor you love them, be a friend or a shoulder to cry on. Exude love in whatever you do. Unless I don’t understand the other eight fruits correctly, none of them contradict what we are to do according to love. It’s unconditional. Part of this is disregarding any differences one may have with some- one else, and that may be the most difficult part. In order to fully care and love someone, we must be able to truly realize that they’re our brother or sister in Christ, our neighbor and someone who’s also made in the image of God. When Jesus said, “Let all the children come,” he did not include, “unless they’re different, then no.”
Declaring love is very easy. Dear reader, I love you. That’s true! I do love you, we’re called to love everyone. But reading that didn’t incite too many emotions, did it? Well no, because I didn’t show you that I love you. It’s the same way with our faiths–prove it! There are very few things I wouldn’t do for the people in my life. Every once in awhile I feel the absolute need to make sure certain people know they’re loved. My group of friends in high school consisted of me and eighteen girls. By no means should I be considered a “player” in any sense of the word either, they’re like my sisters, and I love them all. At one point one of the girls that’s closest to me began to tell me that she struggles with feeling beautiful, and has body image problems. I felt terrible, how could I let any of my friends go through that? So the next day I told her how beautiful she was, I had to. Oddly enough that really didn’t feel like enough… So I went to my entire friend group and told every one of those girls that they’re all incredibly beautiful in their own way. They’ve never forgotten what I said, and I’ll be honest, I don’t re- member what exactly I said, but I brightened their days and showed them love. Once we realize how much our joy and love means to other people, not just our- selves, we’ll live such amazing and fulfilling lives that we can feel love and joy in a true sense, just as God gives it to us.
I’ve been told by some people that there’s a difference between being a moral person and being a Christian. While that may be true, being a moral person does not mean you are not a Christian. There are many moral people who are Christians, and many Christians who are not moral. A lot of what I do and say re- lies on God showing me my morals and how I feel called to live. My faith isn’t in my head; my parents taught me to live it out and see the lovableness in others that Jesus saw as well. All people, all the children, and it’s not easy, it’s actually incredibly difficult. Jesus walked on water and asked Peter to join him. Peter declared that he had faith, but when tested, when told to stand out on the water, where he was no longer just in his own head or testing his faith by himself, he began to sink. Peter, of all people, sank. Someone who stood by Jesus’ side through almost everything. How in the world are we then supposed to be like Christ? If Peter can’t, I can’t, right? Absolutely not! We all have to prove our faith to the world and to fellow Christians through the love we show to the world.
There are many interpretations of the Bible that divide people and nations, but we seem to forget the biggest teaching that the Bible has. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Wow, if God is willing to give up His one and only son because He loved the rest of the world, why can’t we make some of those same sacrifices for those around us? “For God so loved the world…” God knew the world was sinful, God knew the world was wrong, God knew that the people He created in His own image were faltering at their own Father’s teachings. But God did not falter. God loved us unconditionally. We need to exude this same unconditional love, not just in our minds, but in our actions and lives, because I, for one, do not want to sink when called to stand out upon the water.