'Let me ask you, did you keep every Covid lockdown law?'

I love tennis, but I prefer the players to stick at what they are best at. Novak Djokovic made headlines this week in an immigration row, provoking a mix of opinions. You may sympathise with the Australians insisting that rules are rules, after they have been subject to some of the strictest lockdown policies in the world. You may empathise with an elite sports person anxious to defend his title.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 5:49 pm
Rev Nick Allan, minister of The Well

Whatever side of the fence you fall, there is one thing we should all agree upon. We love to point the finger, don’t we? If anything is guaranteed to inflame our passions it is hypocrisy in public life. Having your cake, and eating it.

Our Prime Minister is under pressure again over lockdown ‘parties’. Hypocrisy in others makes us roll our eyes. But what cuts to the heart is when we feel we cannot trust a person or their word.

But let me ask you a question. Did you keep every lockdown law? I’ll bet 95% of South Yorkshire folk have conveniently looked the other way at some point in the last two years.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street For PMQ's on January 12, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

When it is convenient (or should I say, selfish?) we act in just the same way. Suddenly, one rule for us and one rule for all the others does not sound so bad.

This is not a new phenomenon it is simply human nature. I follow closely the teachings of Jesus Christ. During his lifetime he was infamous for calling-out hypocrisy in his nation’s public leaders and speaking truth to power. Most poignantly, he also turned the spotlight to call-out every person’s behaviour and motivation.

“Why worry about a speck of sawdust in your friend’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the plank in your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your friend’s eye” (Matthew’s gospel chapter 7).

Of course, rules are important. The brilliance of Jesus is to pinpoint the corruption of the human heart. If we’re honest, we all fall short. It is a wake-up call to live with integrity in the everyday. May we be the kind of people who keep not just a letter of the law, but the spirit of the law also.

What should my reaction be when I hear of the next person to be caught breaking “the rules“? Maybe it is look to at myself and to exchange hypocrisy for humility.