Opinion  |  

You are all politicians too

South Australia’s independent senator, Lucy Gichuhi, says it’s not easy to be a Christian politician.

Many politicians today are seen as seeking power for power’s sake and political correctness has become the order of the day. Perhaps because most Christians have forgotten that they are the politicians and public leaders of the kingdom. Jesus Christ is our example of how we should lead life here on Earth. He led a very public political life. Politics is in our homes, our churches and our communities and our work places. Where one or two are gathered, there is politics. Christians cannot escape politics. It is their mandate and it surrounds them.

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The question that should always be in the mind of a politician or a Christian is, “What is my role in this situation? Why am I in this position? Am I here just to fight to keep position and power? Am I just attending to the wishes of my electorate, my constituents or my church members just to keep the status quo and just to avoid rocking the boat?”

We must constantly be aware that as ambassadors of our Lord, our first responsibility is to influence circumstances and events to help people get what they need in the right way – which is the freedom to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

The Christian politician needs to look into their own mind and heart and ponder the real needs and deepest desires of humankind in order to serve.

In the Senate we always start by reading the Lord’s Prayer. I take this to mean that as a nation we are founded on the kingdom’s values.

Just before the Lord’s Prayer is read, this prayer is also read:

Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to vouchsafe Thy special blessing upon this Parliament, and that Thou wouldst be pleased to direct and prosper the work of Thy servants to the advancement of Thy glory, and to the true welfare of the people of Australia.

Christians – especially politicians – should guard themselves against covetousness and greedy ways. A satisfying and passionate life does not consist of – and is not derived from – seeking power or possessing excessive things that go over and above what we actually need!

Yes, it is possible, but not easy for a Christian to be a politician.

It is made up of intelligent service to others in a lifestyle which has good boundaries (to preserve the goose that lays the golden egg). You must serve according to what talents God has given you. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.” His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt 25:20-21)

The Christian politician needs to look into their own mind and heart and ponder the real needs and deepest desires of humankind in order to serve. In fact, it is Christians who lead by good example who sow the seeds of a culture free from these problems. This shows again that all Christians are politicians. They cannot escape the calling to lead by example like Jesus. Proverbs 19:21 reveals “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

It is not a quick fix. It is a cultural shift that takes time to develop. It is a lifestyle. It is the kingdom’s way of serving God and others.

Yes, it is possible, but not easy for a Christian to be a politician. Without the example of our Lord Jesus and his empowerment it would be much harder to be a politician. Yet in some ways we are all politicians called to shape and influence the affairs of the city with our time, treasure and talents for the advancement of his glory and the true welfare of the people of Australia.

Lucy Gichuhi is the independent senator for SA.

 

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