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Poor Imitations

If you wait until your motives are pure and unselfish before you do something, you will wait forever.—Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Do you remember the wave of bracelets and key chains in the ‘90s with those small initials WWJD? Some of you are looking down at your wrist right now. The ‘90s live on.

Those bracelets tap into a deep personal conviction we have: Jesus really is the answer to our deepest pain, overwhelming struggles, and perplexing questions.

But they also expose another problem: We aren’t sure how He is the answer. What difference does He actually make?

WWJD? was intended to offer a pause when facing temptation or trials. In that pause, we were given an opportunity to make better decisions and live better lives.

Imagine the shock when many times, the pause exposed a blank. Most of us have no idea what Jesus would do. Not only that, but even if we did, trying to imitate Jesus doesn’t work because we don’t have the strength to be like Jesus.

Let me give you an example: You’re driving home from work. You see a homeless person asking for help, and you look down at that bracelet. What would Jesus do?

Should you buy him food? Give him cash? You could, but that’s not what Jesus would do. Jesus would park His car and live with that person until he was healthy again. Are you able to do that? Do you even want to do that?

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh … (Galatians 5:17a)

You and me, in our flesh, are very poor imitations of the Son of God.

So we have two issues:

  • Ignorance—We don’t know.
  • Impotence—We aren’t able.

Rather than trying to be poor imitations of Jesus, we can be excellent dwelling places for His Spirit. As the Spirit of Jesus lives in us, we will do as Jesus leads. When Christ enters us, everything that is possible for Christ becomes possible for us.

Lord, while I love reading about what Jesus did, my inability to replicate can leave me discouraged. Today, I understand better what it means to do all things through Christ who is my strength. Let’s live it. Amen.

Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?

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