Remember the What Would Jesus Do movement? The bracelets led to bookmarks led to t-shirts led to lots of money but not necessarily to action consistent with what Jesus would do. Instead, we point to verses about living in the world but not of it. So we glory in our goodness while keeping the fallen world we live in at arm’s length.
But keeping the world at arm’s length isn’t what Jesus did. He hung out with the sinners of his day. A lot. When I start thinking about who I spend time with and how close I get with them and the grief I sometimes get as a result, I’m left with just one question – what the hell would Jesus really do?
I’m drawn to rules and naturally am pharasitical. Boo. I know that’s not what Jesus would do. Flip side of that is that I am definitely drawn to the grace and love side of things as well because I know how futile and exhausting it is to attempt perfection.
When I find myself having to explain my life and philosophy to people, I do start to question whether I’m doing things right. Am I following the rules? Am I getting it right? It gets frustrating to think about. Is our world really that different from what Jesus lived in? And if not, how would Jesus live today?
Me, I’m working hard to lean toward love and grace. Which leaves me open to challenge from people who’d rather emphasize the separation than the love because I spend a lot more time hanging out with sinners (like me!) than with church types these days.