David Cameron: Not what I’m owed but what I can give

David Cameron outside No 10

In his first speech as prime minister, David Cameron said:

I want to help try and build a more responsible society here in Britain. One where we don’t just ask what are my entitlements, but what are my responsibilities.

One where we don’t ask what am I just owed, but more what can I give.

It is a good and just aim.  The question is; how will an entire nation be put into reverse?  We have all been hell bent on accumulation, entertainment and self-fulfilment.  How will we ever become a nation of self-sacrificial volunteers and philanthropists?

Yesterday morning at Holy Trinity we came to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where Paul writes:

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you.

The idea of gladly suffering for the sake of others seems almost completely alien to our society. What possible reason could anyone have for genuinely joyful self-sacrifice? The answer is the cross.

Colossians 1:19-20 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

For the nation to reach a tipping point where people serve one another in love rather than taking and hoarding, members of the government will have to lead by example.  The 5% pay cut and 5-year freeze for ministers was a welcome gesture in the right direction.  The issue will be consistency.  It will do no good to throw away 5% of a salary only to go on accumulating in other ways. 

The wisdom of God is seen in the actions of God. God gave himself for us in the person of the eternal Son. For ministers to be truly consistent they should hold-up and uphold Christ’s example of self-sacrifice.  The public square cannot be a place of privatised faith but faith in action. If we are to change direction as a nation then Christ’s sacrificial death really is the only motivator big enough to capture the imagination of the nation and all must be seen to follow Christ’s lead.

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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1 Response to David Cameron: Not what I’m owed but what I can give

  1. Myra Sylow says:

    I saw a nasty little echo in this petty man’s speech of a great speech by J. F. Kennedy:
    Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.
    That was the generous, encouraging, elevating version, by Kennedy. Now here is this petty mean man Cameron:
    Don’t ask what am I just owed, but more what can I give.

    He’s about taking from the poor, not working together for the future. He talks of the British people as if we are WORKER ANTS. With nothing creative or exciting in our lives.

    I hear this man Cameron treating the British people like SLAVES.

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