Thought for the Week by Rev Alan Ward, Retired Minister of the Church of Scotland

Well! Were you caught on the hop?

For quite some time now the Prime Minister has been telling us that the General Election would be in the second half of the year. Although most people were expecting it would be in the Autumn, Rishi Sunak has been true to his word – 4th July is in the second half of the year! That set me thinking about how we often think we have heard something, and we know what it probably means.

We speculate and embroider the idea so that its fits into the story we would like to hear. We read the newspapers and watch the news programmes on TV that suit our way of thinking, and maybe even our prejudices. In the case of General Elections, we listen to pundits who favour the fortunes of our favourite political party, and we ignore other voices.

We feel uncomfortable about making difficult choices: this coming election is being described as a choice between “much-needed change or reliable continuity”.

There’s an old proverb about “Better the devil the devil you know than the devil you don’t”, but that’s unfair to the many politicians who have entered parliament because they want to do good, not evil. So I’ll do what I have suggested in three previous Minister’s Letters in this newspaper over the last decade: read carefully the claims and promises made by all parties and candidates in this constituency, pay attention to as much reliable media news as possible, and above all, pray for guidance.

One of my favourite verses in the Bible is in chapter 3 of the Book of Proverbs: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the LORD in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.” I hope those words will help you too.