Brexit is a big deal right now. The news reports keep coming. People from both sides of the fence are putting forward their points of view, demands and desires. Huge questions remain unanswered. Will there be a deal? What kind of deal could it be? Do we need a deal? Would it be better to call it off?
Personally, I’m still trying to think through the possible outcomes and weigh up whether they are positive or not. What framework should I use to evaluate any future deal? I thought this month I’d share some principles that the Bible teaches that I’ve found helpful in thinking this through.
First, the Bible clearly teaches that I should think of others. Jesus said the second greatest commandment, after the command to love God, is to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. That wasn’t just an instruction he taught, it was one he lived as he died, giving himself on the cross.
Often, we can weigh up political decisions and policies based on their effect on us. Budget day comes around and the chancellor announces the new tax rules, etc. So often my first concern is: how will this affect me? God urges me to think more broadly and make sure I consider the effect that these decisions will have on others. This is equally as important, if not more important, than the impact on myself.
How do I want our MP to vote? What do I want the government to work for? It has to be more than the best deal for me. It has to be the best deal for everyone even if that means it’s not the best deal for me.
Second, the Bible encourages me to think about the vulnerable in our communities. At one point in the Bible we have a definition of true religion that God accepts. Part of that definition is ‘to look after orphans and widows’. In Bible times orphans and widows were vulnerable groups who would have struggled to find the means to survive.
What is the Bible teaching here? Essentially, that God cares for vulnerable people and that we should too. This is important when it comes to the whole Brexit debate. I need to be thinking, how will this impact the poor, those who need care and those who need support? Yet, it surely means more than ‘thinking’. Am I willing to sacrifice in order to help when people find themselves in need?
As I’ve looked at these principles, I’ve found myself challenged and helped as I’ve thought about Brexit. I’ve been reminded that the Bible is relevant today in the decisions we make and the lives we lead. If anyone would like a Bible to read for themselves, please contact us through our website and we’ll be happy to send you one.