Politics in the spotlight

By Rev Neil G T JeffersCurate, Christ Church,LowestoftIT'S all the rage at the moment, especially as we prepare for a week of Euro and county elections.

By Rev Neil G T Jeffers

Curate, Christ Church,Lowestoft

IT'S all the rage at the moment, especially as we prepare for a week of Euro and county elections.

How can MPs, and for that matter, MEPs, get away with expenses fiddles that would land most of us in prison?

Why can they just say: I didn't break the rules, I haven't done anything wrong, but I'll pay back the money just in case,' and hope it will all go away?

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But the words of Jesus should make us stop and think: 'How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?' (Matthew 7:4).

Sure, most of us haven't claimed thousands of pounds for non-existent mortgages or had our tennis courts resurfaced at taxpayers' expense. But can we honestly say we always behave at work in a way we would be proud of, or more importantly, in a way which honours God?

In our sermon series on work at Christ Church we've been thinking about how we behave at work.

A 19th Century preacher asked a housemaid what difference becoming a Christian made to her work.

She answered: 'Now I sweep under the mats as well.'

That's putting into practice some Bible verse we read last Sunday: work 'with a sincere heart, as you would [for] Christ, not only when [someone's] eye is on you… Work wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.' (Ephesians 6:5-7).

In the office, or the workshop, or driving the bus, do we only work when we're being watched, or checked up on? Or do we do our best to do a good job, even when the boss is on holiday?

If we're looking for work, do we just do enough to keep the benefits office off our back, or do we really try hard to find a job?

And if we employ or manage others, do we treat them fairly, or do we bully and cheat them out of pay or time off.

The Bible says that all of us, employers and employees alike, have a perfect master who is in heaven, who sees everything we do, and is perfectly fair and just. Something for all of us, including MPs, to think about.