Helen Haidle's What Would Jesus Do?
A retelling for children of Charles M. Sheldon's In His Steps
Christian children's book review by Jane Finch.
How Can We Live Our Lives the Way Jesus Would?
The author Helen Haidle has revised the classic book In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon and retold it from a child’s point of view.
The main characters in this chapter book remain the same throughout.
There is Parson Henry and his daughter, Claire, and her friend Bill, and they all live in a small town in America called Pine Ridge. All of the stories deal with life issues that children may face, and deal with situations by discussing what is happening and then looking in the Bible to see how Jesus would deal with a similar situation.
What Would Jesus Do has thirty-eight chapters in all, and the subject matter of each is dealt with in a sensitive and compassionate manner.
For example, chapter one deals with Claire and Bill meeting a stranger at a picnic. Whilst they are playing in the woods they see a scruffy faced boy and watch as he goes into the Church to ask Jesus to find someone to help him.
The boy then went around all the grown-ups at the picnic asking for help, but everyone was too busy to listen to him. Claire and Bill discuss whether they should offer to help the boy, but decide they don’t know him, and they think they are too young to help.
The question is then asked, "What would Jesus do?" There is a Bible reference that gives the answer. For example, in this case it was Proverbs 3:28 “Don’t tell your neighbor to come back tomorrow if you can help today.”
The following chapters follow the story as Claire and Bill discover why the young boy was asking for help, and find out how they can help.
Other stories deal with problems that can arise in any young life. Dealing with bullies, making new friends, being afraid in a storm, or being lonely. They each take a similar format of telling the story and then explaining how Jesus might have handled the situation, and backing each explanation up by a Bible reference.
I found this book invaluable when I was bringing up my son. Every time he encountered a difficult situation we would search What Would Jesus Do and sure enough we would find a story that was the same, or similar.
This would give us the opportunity to discuss what was happening and look at it from a Christian viewpoint. What would Jesus’ reaction be to bullies, for example?
Just look in the book and Chapter thirty-two gives an example, and a suggestion on how to deal with the bullies, and also gives the Bible text Philippians 2:15 “Try to shine as lights among the people of this world.”
If anyone has read my bio they will see that my son suffered from bullying at school. This book was so helpful to him and to myself throughout that experience.
For any parent wishing to bring their child up with Christian principles, What Would Jesus Do? is a must. It teaches them to love, forgive, share together, and to cope with many of the challenges that face children in today’s world.
Read more of Jane's reviews.
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