In recent days I have been talking often about the human propensity to ride a pendulum and a related issue that is actually what I want to comment on today.
I often find myself in the position of discussing a truth that has been widely accepted. It is so easy to be understood as attacking that idea, when in reality I usually want to affirm that a particular idea is true, but there is more to it than is commonly perceived. In other words, “that is true but here is the rest of the story.” Yet again, “let’s expand your understanding of that idea, but I don’t want to swing your pendulum all the way to the other side of the spectrum.” I’m not talking true and false here, but true and “truer.”
Am I in any way suggesting that truth is relative? Absolutely not! On the other hand, while truth is absolute our perception and understanding of it is rather subjective, and prone to misapprehension.
The bracelets and the concept of WWJD or “What Would Jesus Do?” is a great example. Is it a good idea to focus on trying to act as Jesus would act? Most certainly. It’s a great idea. However, if we are suggesting that in momentary occasions we can significantly modify our responses to mirror those Jesus might make/have made by wearing a WWJD bracelet, we are fooling ourselves.
The significance of the WWJD bracelet is in conforming the day-to-day pattern of our normative lives to the same pattern that Jesus lived out. In other words, if we hope to respond to crisis moments like Jesus, then we have to pattern the non-crisis moments of our lives to His habits.
So the most important times to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” is not when a crisis strikes–we will respond instinctually at that moment–but at the beginning of each day, or better yet when planning the next day, week or month. Thus we will form our instinctual responses as a pattern of transformation takes hold in our lives.
See what I mean? True and true-er, not true and false.