Chris Goswami unpacks five fundamental truths that can guide followers of Jesus during times of change


As you watch the results of the UK election, you might find yourself in a moment of anticipation, celebration or regret, depending on who you voted for. Or maybe you’re just massively relieved. At least now our news broadcasters will stop banging on about who’s behind in the polls, and asking random people in a pub which way they will vote.

But, regardless of our new government, there are fundamental truths that can guide followers of Jesus at times like this.

1. Expect to feel let down at some point

It’s said that politicians campaign in poetry, but govern in prose.

All politicians make promises when campaigning, and some of them are absurd. It’s not that they are inherently bad people - most enter public service for good reasons. But our media strongly encourages adversarial debates and aggressive questioning designed to catch politicians out.

This creates enormous pressure on public figures to make promises they simply can’t keep. But we all know there really is no magic money tree that appears after the election.

We should hold politicians to account, but we can also show grace and understanding when change takes longer than expected - or some promises fall away entirely.

2. Change may take time

In politics, in business, and even in life, we often over-estimate the impact that a change will bring, especially in the short term. We have a new government, but that doesn’t mean we will neccessarily see enormous change immediately, and that’s OK. 

We often over-estimate the impact that a change will bring, especially in the short term

We are fortunate to live in a stable democracy and have an election process that is not corrupt. However, this tends to work against long-term planning. If you are Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping you can plan 50 years ahead, knowing that your party will still be in power. Democracies inevitably take the short-term view, but they are still the best system this world has.

3. There’s nothing new under the sun

All our major parties have clearly shifted toward the centre ground over the last decade. There are now fewer differences between the main parties than we were used to in the past.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” This is not to suggest that we give up or become apathetic. It’s a reassurance that, as Christians, our foundations lie in the steadfastness of God, not the transient nature of government.

4. Faith should always have a place in politics

Faith determines character and character matters more than issues.

Having Christians in the Houses of Parliament who understand a higher calling, is crucial. Their faith, character, and (one hopes) their integrity can bring positive change. They can do this even if we don’t agree with their specific views. In particular, Christians with traditional biblical views are now often viewed as society’s heretics, and that can feel incredibly lonely.

Keir Starmer isn’t a Christian, but his wife is Jewish. In a recent interview, he explained that, emergencies aside, he ring-fences Friday nights for family time and observing the Shabbat. Predictably, this drew some criticism from  his opponents, who accused him of being a “part-time” prime minister. But surely it’s a good thing that our most senior politicians are not slogging away 24/7. Isn’t that biblical?

It’s an honourable thing to be involved in politics. Jesus was not an MP but he was certainly political. He challenged the authorities, actively stood against injustice and advocated for a new order. He wasn’t aligned with any political party but he constantly engaged in the social and political issues of his time. He didn’t opt out of politics, and neither should we.

5. We need change. And stability

Looking back at the seven weeks since this election was announced, the main themes constantly played by the Conservatives and Labour were ‘certainty’ and ‘change’. Rishi Sunak pitched hard on the certainty of sticking with him versus (in his words) surrendering to the unknowns of Labour. Starmer, for his part, worked to drive home that 14 years of Conservative government hasn’t produced results; it was time for change.

But both are needed – that’s partly why many people found it hard to choose.

According to Christian belief, we have both. The North African church father, Augustine, once referred to God as “ever ancient and ever new”. Stability and change. Both aspects are true. Both are important.

We rightly focus on the ancient, certainty of God. He is “the same yesterday today and forever” and we cherish that. But perhaps we sometimes underestimate God’s creative desire to do a new thing. Yes, God’s unchangeable presence and beauty are timeless and eternal. But he is always renewing those who are open to him, equipping us as movers and shakers in society.

John puts it like this: ”’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Revelation 1:8).

God’s nature is unchanging. But he constantly invites us to participate, with a fresh and proactive engagement, in our world. Stability and renewal. Ever ancient and ever new.

Do a new thing!

Let your local MP know you’re there and you care. The Joint Public Issues Team has put together these resources to help your relationship with your new or returning MP