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Politicians - Let's pray for them!

westminster SX406Following last week’s general election, Tony Rothe, Network Norfolk’s content editor for North Norfolk, reflects on what our attitude should be to those we have elected to govern us.

 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1.

This verse, and the six which follow, (which include a reminder to pay our taxes!), are quite a challenge, especially in parts of the world where the regimes are corrupt or repressive, and I struggle to reconcile that.
However, we now have a new government in Great Britain, and I feel that maybe we should be praying for them rather than moaning about them!
It is easy to condemn those in power, but perhaps we should pause to consider the challenges they face, not least of which are potentially conflicting loyalties:

  • Their loyalty to their constituents – we all expect our MP to defend the interests of ourselves and our local area, even if these do not coincide with the needs of the country as a whole
  • Their loyalty to their country – After all, they are part of the British Government, so shouldn’t Britain come first?
  • Their loyalty to their party – It would be rather disingenuous to nail your colours to the mast of a political party, then direct your efforts against their ethos and goals
  • Their loyalty to humanity – Surely this is more important than the previous three? – Whatever your allegiances, surely the human race should be the predominant one? The need to feed and heal the poor and oppressed must not stop at national boundaries
  • Their loyalty to God – this can be a real challenge, especially where it appears to conflict with some or even all of the above. 

Our leaders need wisdom to balance their loyalties, to apportion their time wisely, to order their priorities, to govern with fairness and compassion, and to be role models for the rest of us. That is a demanding list, and most of us would struggle to achieve all that.
Before the election, a lady on a radio phone-in said “I cannot see what any of the parties are going to do for me – none of them will make me any better off”. But is that really what governing is about? Did we go to the polls in order to improve our own personal bank balance? Will we complain because those improvements don’t materialise?  Yes- some of the pledges made in the run up to May 7 were a little unrealistic, and may not be achievable.
But most MP's are honest, hard-working, conscientious people trying their best to govern as effectively as possible in the circumstances that exist at any particular time. By all means offer constructive criticism – and writing to them with your views is an excellent way to engage with the political process.
But please don’t moan – pray for them!

The Westminster image above is courtesy of Daniel Mohorovic at www.freeimages.com

TonyRothe150Tony Rothe is Network Norfolk Content Editor for North and North-West Norfolk. He is also a children's instructor at a field study centre and has written books of walks. 

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