What Would Jesus Do? Follow Up: The Dishwasher

Yesterday I said I would ask myself throughout the day “What Would Jesus Do?” and report to you if anything happened. Well, something did happen.

We live in a little apartment that is a good size and a good price, but is also old and kind of falling apart in places. Our landlord has always taken the approach of doing the minimum necessary to fix any problems that come up. He’s not a bad landlord, or a mean landlord, but he’s not a great landlord either.

So, the other day when our dishwasher stopped working I was a little surprised (and annoyed) when the message I got back from the landlord was that according to our contract we are in charge of any dishwasher repair. Once I thought about it I remembered reading something about appliances in the contract way back when we signed it, but it did strike me as the landlord being cheap yet again.

I also should share the fact that the landlord has our apartment up for sale. Someone could buy the apartment tomorrow and we could be moving any time. Or, nobody could buy it for years. Or, someone could buy it as an investment property and want us to keep living in it. We really have no idea.

So, my first response was to do the absolute minimum to the dishwasher to fulfill our contract. After all, it’s wasn’t as if the dishwasher worked very well to begin with. At first, I wanted to just not fix the dishwasher and leave it until we moved, but we really couldn’t get away with that under the terms of the contract. My next preference was to spend the absolute minimum to get the dishwasher to what could be called “working” again.

Then, while pondering this, I asked myself “What would Jesus do?” I realized I had the totally wrong attitude. Just because our landlord does the least he can, didn’t mean I should act the same way. What I should do is live up to what I promised to do and really fix the dishwasher. And, if we did end up moving in a week then I would be doing a service to the people who moved in, rather than a disservice. Service is good, right?

I don’t know that my attitude change had a huge effect on the outcome of the situation. We had already decided it would be cheaper to buy a used dishwasher on craigslist than it would be try to get someone to repair it. Perhaps I would have tried harder to convince my husband to buy the cheaper, more questionable dishwasher rather than the more expensive, but definitely fully working dishwasher.

The real effect came inside me. I felt so much more at peace about the whole situation once I decided to do the right thing. I no longer felt angry at the landlord. I felt better about the prospect of moving. I knew I was doing the right thing and it made me happy.

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