I don't know about you, but the phrase "What would Jesus do?" gets under my skin.
We all know what Jesus would do. He would do "the right thing." He would act completely within the will of the Father. He would do only the life-giving, good, holy thing.
I know I should have those goals in mind as well. The thing is, I feel like I'm up against some questions Jesus never had to face.
Jesus didn't have to help his children to decide which college to attend; he didn't have to filter though 300 cable channels; he didn't even have to decide what to wear to work in the morning.
And he certainly didn't have to deal with these people. :)
Of course I'm not intending to trivialize the life of Our Lord. (You know me better than that.) I'm just trying, in a silly way, to point out that life in Jesus' time seemed to be far simpler than ours. And of course he was infinitely holier than we are. Our fallen state makes our every breath a challenge.
So I think a better suggestion might be to consider what Jesus wants me to do.
And that's not exactly simple to figure out either.
Do I speak the truth, always? Even when it will hurt feelings? Do I apologize, to make "peace," even when I have done nothing wrong? Do I spend time with people I'm obligated to be with, even when they continually mistreat me?
Yes, I know about turning the other cheek. Then I will be called a "fake."
Sometimes we are in "no-win" situations, and I can't seem to figure out what Jesus would have me do. Even when consulting good, well-meaning friends, I'm confused. Advice is abundant, but often contradictory.
I know the first rule - and last - is to love. As St. Augustine said, "Love, and then do what you will." But what to do when it is unclear how to be the most loving? What if you will be perceived as unloving no matter what you do? Is it better, in some cases, to love, but from a distance?
I know that the opinion of Jesus is the only one that matters, and as for the others - as Mother Teresa said - "it was never about them anyway." But that doesn't stop me from trying to figure out how to do the "right thing."
So I'll do what we sinful-yet-saved, striving Christians do. I'll pray about it. I'll keep my eyes and heart open. I'll even think about what Jesus would do, and his friends, the saints, as well. Then I'll probably continue on making mistakes and loving very imperfectly.
But I'll keep trying. I know with certainty that Jesus would want me to do that.