Written by: Pastor Susan Beckett
Allow your creative juices to flow for a minute and imagine you live faraway in a remarkable country. In your minds eye, picture impressive natural beauty; homes that are all well tended and look like they belong in a home & garden magazine. The economy in your country has an A+ rating and everyone has the job of their dreams.
And, best of all, the people there are warm, friendly and outgoing. They are outstanding citizens who are honest with impeccable character in every area of their lives . . . and . . . they are fun to be around and enthusiastic about life.
One day the president approaches you with an unusual request: Would you consider becoming the next ambassador to a place in desperate need of the values and attitudes you possess? (Keep in mind that an ambassador is someone sent to another country whose role is to reflect the position of the country that sent him. This person represents the values and standards of his home nation.)
Without hesitation you say yes to the job and less than a week later you find yourself in . . . take a deep breath . . . you find yourself living in Hemet. You may be thinking at this point that this is just crazy – who would ever be an ambassador to Hemet? Who would want to be an ambassador to Hemet?? But interestingly enough, if you are a Christ-follower, you too have been offered this position.
In 2 Cor 5:20 Paul calls himself an “ambassador for Christ,” knowing that all he did represented Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Taking time to do a short Bible study, we find all who follow Jesus Christ have the same job opportunity. If accepted, our calling is to be an ambassador for Christ – an example!
Many years ago I took our youngest daughter, Susanne, to a new doctor in town. I sat down to fill out the usual clipboard of information and noticed one of the many questions for me was: Occupation: __________. Okay – my occupation. How hard can this be? But when I thought of all the things I was involved in, the only answer I could think of was: Ambassador for Christ. Of course,
Susanne being about twelve years old at the time, who thought her mom was a little crazy anyway, just rolled her eyes. But that’s what I wrote down: Occupation: Ambassador for Christ. Albert Einstein once said, “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.” Good or bad, we all influence people. It’s often said that if you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning. I personally think that’s pretty funny but very true! Good or bad – – it’s our choice!
G. K. Chesterton had a unique insight on this as he penned: “The word “good” has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.” This guy would definitely fall into the “horrible warning” category of “bad example.”
Matthew 5:16 tells us to do good works and when other people see the good works they will glorify your Father which is in heaven. In Thess 1:7 we are again urged to be good examples. That Greek word “example” literally means to become a “pattern” or a “model.” So being an ambassador is not to be taken lightly. I believe there is a huge responsibility that comes along with taking on that assignment.
But being a good example isn’t difficult once we understand that we have “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” As Christ-followers, He is not only “in us” but stays in us. He doesn’t check in on Sunday morning as we walk into church and then check out when we leave. He doesn’t check out when you walk into the Mall or when you go to the local gym. Being an ambassador really isn’t difficult realizing you have help. Literally, Christ in you. So my advice: Take the job.