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A blameless life makes for security; crooked ways bring a man down. Proverbs 10:9

I’m writing this just a few hours after Boris Johnson’s excruciatingly embarrassing appearance before the House of Commons for PMQs on January 12th. It was a crucial occasion for him - and probably for all of us.

I’ve read extensively about the Downing Street parties and allegations that the prime minister is a stranger to the truth. Some commentators have said that Johnson’s character flaws are already baked-in by his MPs and the electorate (i.e. they know about them and don’t care about them). Others have said that his character may be defective but if he does a good political job – well, that’s all that matters.

So does integrity, honesty, matter? Should they matter to Christians? The answer is absolutely, and quite unambiguously, ‘Yes’. What did Jesus have to say? Just look at Matthew 23:27-28: ‘Alas for you, lawyers and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like tombs covered with whitewash; they look well from outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all kinds of filth. So, it is with you: outside you look like honest men, but inside you are brim-full of hypocrisy and crime’ or Luke 20:46-47: ‘Beware of the doctors of the law who love to walk up and down in long robes, and have a great liking for respectful greetings in the street, the chief seats in our synagogues, and places of honour at feasts. These are the men who eat up the property of widows, while they say long prayers for appearance’ sake; and they will receive the severest sentence.’

Be in no doubt that truth and honour were central to Jesus’ teaching. They should be fundamental to our lives too. And we would be right to hold to account those in public life who regard them as negotiable or trifling.

© Ian Williams 2022