In the 1990’s, there was a popular slogan that adorned bracelets, t-shirts, and various other articles purchased by Christians.  It boldly questioned, “What would Jesus do?” Often, this was shortened to the letters WWJD, but the meaning was the same.  The point of the phrase was to make believers think about the example of their Lord, to imagine what Jesus would do in the various situations they faced.   The phrase has its genesis in an 1896 book by Charles Sheldon entitled In His Steps.  While the surface concept, trying to act like Jesus, might seem perfectly fine, as with all such things that are extra-biblical, and maybe not so tightly tied to scripture, even when executed by well meaning Christians, sometimes  things don’t turn out as intended.  Maybe for some people, it was a positive thing, keeping them humbly focused on loving service, but I believe it led to one of the negative aspects of modern evangelicalism, a sort of savior mentality in some people that was misguided and prideful. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to help people.  This is the pure essence of what God wants us to do in life in response to what He has done for us in saving us and continuing to work in our lives.  But when you go to help other people in loving service, you should approach it humbly, knowing that you are no better than they are, and knowing that God sends you into those situations because there is something there for you to learn as well.  When we perform loving service, we should be gaining something from the situation as well.  We should learn a little something about ourselves and grow a little bit more from the situation.  Many times, there is something that the person we are helping can teach us.  God spreads His wisdom lavishly and widely among all people so that all have something useful in life to help themselves in their life and something that they can share with others.  Of course, this is dependent on what kind of attitude is present in the individual.  If they are too resistant to His Spirit and perhaps too far gone in their sin, then it becomes more difficult for God to put anything worthwhile into them. 

But most of the time that I have encountered other people out and about in this life, I have come away a little wiser about myself and about God from the situation because there was something about the person I encountered that I had perhaps not realized about life and people.  God is a very generous God.  He wants us all to be happy and useful in life.  So He lavishes gifts and talents widely among the populace.  He wants all people to have something unique in life to offer others.  And He wants us each to have something to offer that will help make us happy and successful in life and will make sure that we have something valuable that others will need from time to time.  This value in each other keeps us interacting as God intended.  Knowing that God was so generous with us and that He wants us to interact, we should always be ready to encounter others in an open and generous way.  Each of our lives is important to the overall scheme of things.  I’m sure you have seen the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, with James Stewart.  This cult classic has become very popular, especially at Christmas time when you can see it played throughout the season on various channels.  The central theme of the movie is something that we should all remember, and that is, that each of us was put here to impact the world in our own unique way.  Without our unique impact on the world, things would be different, the world a little less rich.  One of the most famous quotes from the movie is from the angel, Clarence, who reminds the main character, George Bailey, of this very fact:  “Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?”  In this holiday season, I pray that each of us remembers how important we are to this world. 

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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