Not just words!
The storm is still brewing and has been a for a few weeks now. It may change by the time you read this, but I’m not sure it will. The activities of No. 10 Downing Street during national lockdown are big news and plenty of people are still calling for Boris to resign.
Now, why do I mention this? My aim is not to enter a political debate or to argue for a particular outcome. I simply want to ask the question: why are we so upset?
If we dig in, the answer is straightforward – hypocrisy. The narrative goes like this. At a time where our Prime Minister and the government had imposed difficult and unprecedented curbs to our freedoms due to the covid pandemic, these rules were being broken at the very heart of the same government administration. They said one thing but did another.
What exactly happened and who did what? Is Boris culpable? To be honest, I don’t know what to think. There are reports being written and investigations that are ongoing. Maybe, there will be some clarity in the end. The message from the country, though, is clear; we don’t like hypocrisy and we think it’s wrong.
Yet, are our politicians the only ones who struggle to do what they say? Isn’t this something we all do? Have we ever broken a promise? Have we ever told our kids off for something and then gone and done the same thing ourselves? We have, haven’t we? I know I’m guilty.
But this is one of those areas where Jesus is so different to everyone else I know or have read about. He was not a hypocrite. He lived exactly as he taught. As we read his teaching, we read some hard things. One of the most well-known is this command, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44).
But for Jesus, these weren’t just words. It was how he lived his life and was evident even at the point he was being crucified on the cross. As Jesus hung on the cross, he saw around him those who had caused his impending death. What would he do? The Bible says he prayed, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34).
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