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“How can you tell when a politician is lying?” “Their lips are moving.”

September 10, 2016

There is a saying that I’ve heard many times,

Question: “How can you tell when a politician is lying?”

Answer: “Their lips are moving.”

 

Now I’ve known a number of politicians, some very high profile and some just local. In the main they have been genuine in their desire to serve. But all have admitted that you, “Have to play the game”. They have to say the right things, otherwise we will elect the other one, the one who is telling us the lies we want to hear!

That said, it is a dangerous thing for a country to have such a low regard for the integrity of its elected officials. When the expenses scandal hit a few years ago I was struck most by people being shocked that the politicians were being punished, not shock that they were fiddling their expenses in the first place!

Yesterday I read that the popularist MP and former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has stated that he won’t be pursuing a points based immigration policy for the UK; one of his key campaign promises during the Brexit referendum. All seem tainted.

This as I have said is dangerous. People don’t trust their politicians to deliver on their promises. So people lose faith in the political system that brings stability to our country. Many people voted to leave the EU, for well-thought-out reasons, some though said that they just wanted to attack the ‘political classes’. Desperate people do bizarre things. Far more worryingly some don’t trust those ‘political classes’ to deliver their Brexit promises so they are attacking Eastern Europeans or anyone not obviously white-British, to drive them out. There have even been attacks in the next market town up the road from me. Sad times – All seem tainted.

Then I remember, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23). So why be so surprised? I know that, along with all human beings I made in the image of my creator, and so I am naturally capable of so much love and goodness. I am also fallen and capable of so much corruption and evil (I’m what the Bible calls a ‘sinner’). That is what the world is, good and bad, all mixed up together.

I also remember that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1.15). So all is not lost. Jesus came so that imperfect people like me (sinners) could have hope of being better, happier, more content, more loving, more forgiving, and “keeping no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13.5).

I remember that those politicians and even those carrying out those attacks are just human beings like me. I can’t judge them, I’m fallible too. Indeed, I’m told explicitly again and again not to judge (e.g. Matthew 7.1-5 & James 4.11-12). I can only weep and pray. I need to pray for myself. I also need to pray for my politicians; those I agree with and those I don’t. I know prayer is powerful, so I pray for wisdom and integrity. I pray for compassion too.

All of this has prompted me to pray harder for this world, not to give up on it. To pray for God’s new Kingdom to break through into this world, to make this world more like it was made to be, the people too. I need to keep on doing what I can too, to show that there is a better way. Part of the prayer for myself is to ask the Spirit to show me the good, the Godly, in these politicians that I am finding difficult. Also, to feel the love that God has for these people. Then most of all I pray for Jesus to return, for the Kingdom to break through fully and for ever.

Or in the words given by Jesus to Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.

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