I don’t usually take much interest in political issues. It is a strange one as I know it is important, I have always voted and understand how the Bible encourages me to view my civic duty. Though while I struggle to care about what the news says our politicians are up to, it can still frustrate me. I see the context of our political landscape and I long for more, I long for better, I long for peace, for established, professional and perfect people. However this will never be. It is not just because we sit less than 20 years from the Good Friday Agreement or with serious conflict in our recent past. It instead is because we will not ever get it right. No government will.
Recently, I have been reading through Malachi with a friend and looking at how the leaders have not given God the glorious sacrifices which he was due. Instead they gave diseased animals or unclean bread. It didn’t cost them as much because they had forgotten the true value of God so they didn’t give him what he deserved. They lost the view of their one true love and therefore couldn’t instruct the people how to live. The leaders fell short and they were corrected by Malachi but inevitably needed to be forgiven.
I realise not all our political representatives love God, but regardless they agree to whole heartedly represent the people in the areas for which they stand. They make a promise to do a job which is incredibly difficult, draining, facing opposition and having to work together to achieve for us. So yes, they fail. They make mistakes, they come up short, they say the wrong thing, they get tired, they make a u-turn on policies. They don’t always represent me or you even when we thought they would.
I praise God and thank him for each person willing to consider this impossible job. I want to encourage us all to help them in their role, while we ask them to fulfil their role to the best, we also want to be generous in our forgiveness when that doesn’t happen. As Christians engaging in politics, to be overwhelmingly kind and that our forgiveness allows us to keep engaging. So as we consider our vote, find someone you believe will represent you well but be ready to forgive them and support them to flourish.
Written by Christina Baillie