It’s Friday morning, the day after the general election and I have yet to turn on the telly or properly boot up my smartphone. It took me an hour to get out of bed and face the reality that, as a nation, we are once more in a leadership vacuum. Yet my soul’s voice keeps repeating,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Many will have woken and felt a sense of delighted triumph, many will have woken and felt a sense of acute disappointment and many more are perhaps somewhere in between the two ends of that expectation spectrum; somewhat confused and uncertain of what comes next. My heart is mostly filled with disquiet, not due to partisan disappointment but borne out of a deep desire to see honest, capable, visionary leadership succeed.
However, here we are in a reality of a hung parliament and politicians already bickering in media interviews and making claim and counter-claim about who is best placed to now take us forward. And it is the very negativity and dishonest ‘spin’ of those interviews that most distresses me today. Despite the media sound-bites, I doubt anyone is truly a winner, for we still do not know who will lead us and how we will be lead. My prayer has been that somehow leaders might lay aside their differences and work together for the best result for all people. We need our politicians to put down their swords and divisive words and embrace the challenges faced by us all.
You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
Matthew 5:43-48 (MSG)
“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you…” What a challenge and yet it is possible. Jesus instructs us to live in that way and in times such as this, perhaps we should.
Today as we pray let us be uplifting those in leadership who now need to work together. Let’s pray for more than coalitions and compromises but for meaningful commitment to serve each other in love as Jesus taught us.
Director of National Ministries