Doing the right thing

I used to know a priest a long time ago. He was wise and always defused a religious dilemma by saying to his questioner "What would Jesus do in these circumstances?"

I suppose most of the time he was right. If we followed Jesus' example, or what we might imagine Jesus would do in a situation like the one we find ourselves in, then we won't go far wrong.

Over the years, many a time I heeded that old priest's advice and did things "the way Jesus would" even though my instincts wanted to do something else.

The other day I visited a car boot sale. For those who don't know ... it's a market where people fill their cars with their unwanted goods and sell them for the best price they can get. There were all sorts of goods available. Old books, ornaments, pictures, records and CDs, and even bits of jewellery and antique goods.

There were also all types of buyers wandering round hoping to find a bargain. From people trying to find second hand goods to use to professional antique dealers with an eye for a treasure.

This set me thinking. Imagine there was an old man selling bits and pieces out of his car and amongst them there was an old pocket watch and chain priced a few pence. Imagine an antique dealer recognising the watch as very valuable indeed.

What would Jesus do in the circumstances? Would He advise the old man that the watch was very valuable and could earn him a fortune in an antique auction?

Is it wrong to buy the watch for a few pence and sell it at a great profit?

What is the right thing to do? The Christian thing to do?

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Copyright V Moubarak 2007