WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? It took the culture by storm in the past 20 years. It’s a simple and worthy creed for millions of Christians.
There’s another memory device that might be worth pondering regarding our challenges today, WDJD, What Did Jonah Do?
Jonah and the whale is one of the great Old Testament stories. Jonah was a reluctant servant. God said, “Go,” and Jonah said, “Who, me?” Jonah resisted, ran, repented—sort of, responded…and when the Lord blessed his ministry, Jonah rejected the results.
WDJD? Jonah didn’t want to take a message of God’s love and forgiveness to Nineveh, a people he considered a nemesis, if not an enemy, of his people.
But God had other plans and sent a great revival to Nineveh. Jonah didn’t like this either and the book entitled with his name ends with Jonah pouting under a vine.
God points out to Jonah that Nineveh had more than 120,000 children so young they didn’t know their left from right hands, suggesting a total population ranging to a million. Then God asks, “Should I not be concerned about that great city?” (Jonah 4:11)
This is our challenge today: We live in a time when religions and regimes with strong anti-Western and anti-American postures are growing, aggressive, and threatening. Their advance seems like an unstoppable juggernaut, which is creating social tensions and political confusion throughout European countries and the United States. In addition, the West is still engaged in military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It might be easy, even understandable, and seemingly logical for us to feel like Jonah, resisting spiritual responsibility or opportunity for regional populations in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia.
But this is not the way the Lord works. He asks, “Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
We can ask WWJD and embrace Jesus’ approach, or we can ask WDJD and follow Jonah’s lead. Figuring this out may be the defining Christian challenge of the new millennium.
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© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010
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