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What would Jesus do in 2018?

What Would Jesus Do in 2018? Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I’ve been sitting on this post for over six months trying to decide whether to post it. It’s out of my comfort zone and makes me feel nervous, and I’ve deleted it and rewritten it many times. But sometimes it’s important to be open about what you stand for and I have some things I want to say about my faith and the world right now.

I’ve posted about what I believe before, and what it means to me to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus, but I want to be really honest with you about my personal journey and where I am at today.

I was a Christian teenager in the 90’s, which means I grew up during the WWJD movement. The acronym stood for “What Would Jesus Do?” and the idea behind it was to encourage Christians to ask themselves this throughout the day, and model every action on Jesus himself.

Interestingly enough, as a Christian teenager, I actually missed the entire point, and failed a lot at the very heart of who Jesus is. I am a rule lover, I always have been, so I did pretty great at “morality” and doing my best not to do anything “wrong”. What I completely messed up at, was showing grace, love and forgiveness, and I ended up being a self righteous judgmental jerk.

Does this sound at all familiar to anyone?

Lately I’m seeing Christianity being blamed for a lot of things, and similarly a lot of people claiming their hateful thoughts and actions are Christian.

And I am becoming concerned. In fact I’m a little horrified.

Jesus preached forgiveness of sins, and love that covers all. He was a perfect model for being kind and compassionate. He spent his time with members of society who were rejected and considered undesirable or worthless. He showed them love and encouraged them to follow him and leave their old lives behind. He was infinitely inclusive and full of patience. He forgave and he was merciful. He was non-violent and lacked any hate. He did not force anyone to follow him- he gave them the option. He did not tow the line – he challenged the status quo. He was hated by the leaders of the day for his radical teachings. And he sacrificed, giving his very life as atonement for anyone who will take it.

And as a Christian, THIS is what I should be trying to emulate in my own life.

So here I am in 2018 and I am asking myself that question again, and again and again: What would Jesus do?

And this time, I know the answer begins and ends with the love of Jesus. I have already made the mistake of misunderstanding what it means to be a Christian and I never want to go back.

I am doubling down on reading Jesus’ words. I am doubling down on praying for God to show me what more I can do. For strength to do better than yesterday. I am doubling down on holding myself accountable to the example of Jesus every day. I will give more. I will love more. And if I stumble, I will get back up and try again tomorrow.

This is where I stand.

Whoever you are reading this, you are welcome here. I promise you kindness and friendship. When I say I am a Christian I am not describing a culturally conservative personal identity. I am telling you that I am an imperfect person fully aware of my short comings and trying to follow Jesus’ loving example every day.

And on the flip side I am hoping that when you see someone using the name of Jesus or Christianity as their excuse for thinking or doing something terrible, that you will remember this post.

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Martha Haynes
3 years ago

Beautifully said. Thank you Megan.

Becca G
Becca G
3 years ago

You posted this when you were supposed to post it. God’s timing is everything.
Do not continue to beat yourself up for how you acted as a child, for now you think clearly. We all grow & learn on our life journey some in more positive ways than others. It’s not easy to truely follow Christ’s teachings of love , forgiveness & turning the other cheek as you say we must pick ourselves up & continue each & every day.
Blessings to you
BeccaG

Cheryl
Cheryl
3 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing this! I too struggle to live out the Love of Jesus in my life. The unconditional love he showed for the world can be so difficult to understand and grasp.

rebeccadoe
3 years ago

Good words to live by!
Herzliche Grüße,
Rebecca

Marianne
Marianne
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Through God’s grace all is possible!

Karin Kirste
Karin Kirste
3 years ago

Sometimes I get the impression that I am the only person struggling to live out the love of Jesus in my life…Thanks for sharing ?. Blessings from Germany

Joyce
Joyce
3 years ago

Beautiful article. Indeed, striving to follow Jesus as the bible says, not as we humans have portrayed him , is the best way to go.
You are honest in your article and I truly believe that God who sees the inner you will answer your hearts desire.
May he help us all !

Mary Gehling
Mary Gehling
3 years ago

Beautifully said.

Brenda
Brenda
3 years ago

Well said ?

diaryofasewingfanatic
3 years ago

Oh Megan – your words touched my heart because daily I have to explain to others that while I’m a Christian – I’m not one of the ones who’s words and actions spew hate to the less fortunate. Daily I have to exhibit God’s love for EVERYONE so that people see what attracted me to live my life for Jesus! That love, grace and mercy are the true tenants of Jesus and that many that say they come in His name are NOT exhibiting the hallmarks of Christ. So thank you so much for a wonderful post and as someone said earlier, this is the perfect time for you to post this. We need to be lights in the darkness of this world. I love you my Sister in Christ!

Nishia
Nishia
3 years ago

Hi Megan, thank you for this post. It has reminded me of who I should be striving to emulate I also grew up with the WWJD movement in the 90’s so this post, your words, it all feels like my story. You are such a great person. May God bless you

nancywin
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your post. Love and Grace seem like they should be so easy to give, but that is why Jesus, the perfector of all things, was the only one truly able to give it to all. The more I dig into the Word, the more I realize this job is a lot tougher than it seems. Keep on your journey!

SherryG
SherryG
3 years ago

Well said. I can’t agree more. Love your courage for posting.

Kendra
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing and acknowledging this, in such a beautiful way. I’m not Christian, and have often been really put off by people using religion to justify hate. Frequently I’ve thought “aren’t there christians who disagree with this?” but they’re often significantly less vocal so you can’t always hear them. Thank you for being a great reminder that true Christianity is rooted in love and acceptance.

Lucinda
Lucinda
3 years ago

Thank you for posting this. Amen!

Hannah
Hannah
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this – I really admire that you have. Like you, I find it so easy to slip from loving Jesus to following rules. But it’s one of the amazing (flabbergasting!) things about the family God gives us that someone we’ve never met but with whom we are tightly knit can call us again to love him and others. Thank you for being that person today!

Michelle Lopez
Michelle Lopez
3 years ago

Thank you so much for posting this. Your words completely reflect my growth in my beliefs, as well as where my heart stands in today’s political/social climate. Too many people seam to find ways to distort the Bible to justify their erroneous and sometimes just plain scary opinions, and all I can think is, “My Jesus would never agree to this.” I also hope that more will learn to keep an open mind as to the broad spectrum of us who identify as Christians. Once again, thank you.

D
D
3 years ago

I’m not a Christian, but studied for years in Christian schools and understood and respect the religion enough to know that this is what Christ was all about – Love, forgiveness, Acceptance, Service. I am stunned by how some may use the pretext of religion for justification of their own horrid selfish actions.

Jas Wade
3 years ago

Best Blog Post I have read this year!!!! Great job!

artcoopsville
artcoopsville
3 years ago

Great post Megan. Glad I’m not the only one thinking this. Completely agree with you. Thank you for sharing and being so open about your faith.

Kathryn Gutteridge
Kathryn Gutteridge
3 years ago

Megan , I needed to read this today as I remembered my daughter’s death 4 years ago. I stood with her 2 sons, her husband and my husband by her graveside, your words h..’ve given me some hope in this desolate life. Thank you for turning my face to The Lord and to be washed in his love. Kathryn

Spirit horse
Spirit horse
3 years ago

Thank you Megan for responding to the Holy Spirit in you and speaking from your heart. You have made God smile a little wider today….because His eyes roam throughout the earth looking for someone whose heart is fully committed to Him….you have taken a courageous step and it is my prayer that you will be blessed abundantly for speaking truth in love.

Cynthia
Cynthia
3 years ago

A thoughtful and timely post. Thanks for the inspiration as I, too, try to be a better follower of Christ.

KM
KM
3 years ago

Beautiful courage. I find it a challenge to stand boldly in the world and say “I am a Christian!” Thanks for standing boldly.

julieswallowtail
julieswallowtail
3 years ago

Eloquent and so apt. For today and every day!

KS Sews
3 years ago

I am pretty firmly non-religious but am not anti-religion. I’ve made a point over the years of reading the holy books of various religions including the Bible. And I have been frustrated by some supporting their hate-filled words with scripture.

I agree that you didn’t post because it wasn’t the time to, and now it is.

I’m glad you’ve been able to self-reflect and to share your experiences, thoughts and feelings.

thanderina
thanderina
3 years ago

Dear Megan,
While I believe in Jesus as a historical figure (who did all the things you mentioned so eloquently in this post), I am not a Christian. But what you have said today is a beautiful and earnest thing. I have to admit that although I went to Christian schools, and grew up in a small town with 52 churches, I didn’t meet any Christians who spoke about forgiveness and challenging the status quo, and I was put off the faith by the judgemental hypocrisy of people who thought it was more important to point fingers at others than it was to love them. I sincerely hope that what you have written here will find its way into the hearts of many, and know that you have touched the heart of this jaded agnostic.

joan
joan
3 years ago

I would like to make a copy of your post and with your permission share it with my Sunday School class.

Joan Irons
Joan Irons
3 years ago

With your permission I would like to make of copy of your post and share it with my Sunday School class.

Patti Maley
Patti Maley
3 years ago

Hi Megan –
It takes a long tine to discover how we are meant to treat our fellow humans. We face new challenges every day in this crazy world. I believe that if each of us keep chipping away doing our part to make changes in the lives of those around us – a smile, a compliment, a helping hand, a hug – eventually we will overcome all of those that simply wear the name tag Christian rather than practice the faith.

Patti

Debbi
Debbi
3 years ago

Beautifully put – you speak the truth that all of us need to hear on a regular basis. This post, Jen Hatmaker, and some wonderful people in my life all keep me going through these dark-feeling times in America. Thank you.

Tina Spear
Tina Spear
3 years ago

Beautifully stated! So very thankful for the Lord working in your heart to share what He has and is doing in your life. Thank you for being bold and courageous. Ps. 25:4&5

Audra mcintyre
Audra mcintyre
3 years ago

Very well said. Thank you very inspiring.

Kaye Walker
Kaye Walker
3 years ago

Thank you for this beautiful post. I am also saddened and angered by the actions of people towards each other this days. I am disgusted with our leaders in government and in Congress. I am horrified by the examples they are showing our young people. I am a Christian. I believe in following WWJD and I also believe in obeying the law whether I agree with it or not. I believe there is a right way and a wrong way to change the things we don’t agree with. Our world would be a wonderful place if everyone would do what Jesus would do.

Mary
Mary
3 years ago

This is a well written post and one that needs repeating by many others, because you are correct that too many people are doing horrid things and claiming to be Christians. I often feel that they should go back to WWJD and maybe they would see that this hatred is NOT what Jesus would do. Thanks for the post.

Rebecca
Rebecca
3 years ago

Well said! Thank you for sharing.

Jenny
3 years ago

I love this Megan! Well done for speaking out and being so humble. As a Christian I occasionally get comments from colleagues that it’s easier for me to be kind or forgiving because of my faith, if only they knew I struggle like them every day to be more like Jesus.

Jackie Shepherd
Jackie Shepherd
3 years ago

A beautiful statement of your faith. Thank you for sharing this.

Kerri East
Kerri East
3 years ago

This is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your stance, like you I find myself horrified by “Christians” and the way our world is today. Thank you for the simple reminder to actually read the word, pray and figure out what Jesus would actually do.

Lynette
Lynette
3 years ago

Megan, thank you for sharing. Very well said. I agree wholeheartedly. We need to stand up and show what Christianity really is and been that voice of hope. Thank you for your boldness and kindness!

Gerda Liekens
Gerda Liekens
3 years ago

Hi I m not a Christian but I do have the same thoughts as you. Thoughts of humanity. Wish we lived closer. I think we would be friends ?

Malena
Malena
3 years ago

I appreciate both your sincerity and the message behind your words. It’s easy to vilify Christians right now, I think, for putting the “label” behind a lot of hateful and exclusionary acts that, as you say, have nothing to do with the teachings of Christ. Thank you for this reminder that the religion/philosophy/person behind Christianity has nothing to do with the perversions being enacted in his name, and is in fact the answer and not the problem.

Dara
Dara
3 years ago

THANK YOU MEGAN FOR SUCH A MOVING POST!

Amy Jo
Amy Jo
3 years ago

Love this! I too have had the same journey as a 90s teenager with a WWJD bracelet! I could kick myself just thinking of how horrible of a “Christian” I was back then! Thank you for writing this; It takes strength to share your faith and it’s not always well received… so thank you for being an example of Gods strength!

Leigh Rollins
Leigh Rollins
3 years ago

Dear Megan, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It is hard to step out of our comfort zone.

As an American Christian who believes in the words of Jesus (I’m not an evangelical but why do I even have to write that!) and His actions, I feel as though I’m floundering. Not in my faith but on what is happening in the world—so much hate and judgment, it’s so distressing.

My country is torn into two factions that have closed off communications. If only Jesus’s words could penetrate the hard hearts. It seems the entire world is shifting/has shifted into chaos. But I have the peace of my faith.

Your post allowed me to be mournful for humankind. Thank you.

Peace be with you.

Taylor Lynn
Taylor Lynn
3 years ago

Hey girl,

I am not a christian or religious in any way, but I so appreciate you sending this message out into the world. I feel like it has become so scary for people to “come out” as religious, or share your political views, or just be yourself. So many times people lash out and get angry, but we are all uniquely ourselves.

It’s okay to say what you believe and tell people its okay if they believe different. I wish everyone was as open and accepting. Thank you for sharing this super awesome personal story with us all and I cannot wait to read more.

XO Tay

Charlene
Charlene
3 years ago

Amen. Well said, Megan. I know that it takes courage to stand up for what you believe and and you have set a good example. Thank you for sharing.

Shirley wikrent
Shirley wikrent
3 years ago

Wow. I’m so glad you wrote this for all to see. I too know Jesus to be my lord n teacher. Love is the way. Biblical forgiveness is not letting people off the hook. It means washing away the mud being thrown on me n giving the judgement reins to God himself. For that freedom of me not having to judge Jesus set us free. Forgiveness is a process n takes the time to let go of all my negative feelings.
So you go girl. Love shirley

Raena
Raena
3 years ago

This is exactly how I feel, too. I also grew up with the WWJD movement, with the bracelet and all the iconic 90s Christian culture. I tried to make others follow what I thought were the right Christian rules and lost a lot of friends that way. I am so thankful that in the past decade I have learned so much more about grace and love but it is a constant struggle to make sure that I am living out what I know and believe. The past couple years have been especially difficult to love and welcome each person regardless of politics, etc. so I am glad that you wrote this post to remind me! Thank you for sharing this and being open and honest with your thoughts and beliefs!

Pam
Pam
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your concerns and doing it in an understandable manner. Hate has been spreading and the knee jerk reactions on social media are adding to it. We need more respect, tolerance, and kindness.