Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.


In Focus

The Currency of Government

Thursday, May 16, 2019

With an election over, we will return to normal transmission. At least we hope so. A nation has voted and the genius of our democratic system sees a new government installed. The beauty of our nation is that our elections are relatively peaceful. There are the occasional antisocial protestors, the unkempt disrupters of our social fabric, the egg smashing disrespectful whose greatest wish it seems is to make life about themselves, with no empathy for others and who can’t stand the decision of the majority. There is a place for protest, but no place for the violent way some people go about it. I am not one to often point to Ghandi but from my high school studies of India I remember his peaceful approach to making protests which were not always met with peaceful responses.  In truth, as voters, our vote could be seen as a protest and a good one at that.

Elections results announced, there is bound to be disappointment as some will feel like they have lost while others will be excited they have backed the winning side. Of course “winners and losers” when it comes to government is not ultimately a good look.

An elected government must serve all the nation’s people, even the protestors, disrupters and disrespectful. The rhetoric of election campaigns, which do little for any of us, must now settle down. The decisions of government must now be taken seriously because they affect us all.

When you put the campaign rhetoric alongside governing decisions the rhetoric is exposed for what it is. Truth of course will either be the winner or the casualty. Should truth be the casualty then the highest positions in the land will be marked as dishonest. I may have an opinion, but I have no way of really assessing the honesty of recent campaigns, but like past campaigns, the future will expose the truth. The real tragedy is that it’s hard to find anyone who thinks politicians can be trusted. As a word to politicians, this means you have a big job ahead of you to re-establish trust and you can only do this by being honest and trustworthy. 

Why is truth, trust and honesty so important? Because it’s the only currency by which we can do business with any confidence. It’s the only glue that holds marriages and families together. It’s the only compass that keeps us from becoming lost. It’s reliable, it’s safe, it builds up communities and does not tear them down.

The recent Royal Commission into Banking exposed the deceit of the banking industry. The result of such deception has been increased insecurity. The Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse exposed the failure of a sacred trust that has led to a loss of faith. I imagine the Royal Commission into Age Care will expose failures that leave people fearful. I expect if we had a Royal Commission into parenting, it would reveal the depressing outcomes of broken promises. Of course, children are not without guilt when it comes to deceit, but the difference is that adults are meant to model the workings of trustworthiness. Parents are meant to train children out of the foolishness of deceit into the wisdom of honesty.

There is no doubting the compounding interest, faith, confidence and joy that grows from truthfulness.

Dishonesty in politics seems to rely on today’s falsehoods becoming old news quickly. The hope is to not get caught out and that people may forget. However, everyone lives with the consequences as the falsehoods of the past mount up on faulty foundations and corrupt the very fabric of our society. It is very easy to be dishonest if the only thing that matters is yourself or your party. If a nation is to be represented and communities confident for the future then there is no substitute for honesty, truthfulness and trustworthiness.

The Government we have elected to represent us all will give account to the nation and to God for the character of its leadership and the integrity of its decisions. It would be my prayer that they would leave a legacy of trust that we can all aspire to. It is worth noting that those elected reflect the voting community so perhaps we should all consider our commitment to being trustworthy and truthful.