AMBASSADORS

One of the things I think most Christians wrestle with the most is exactly how to live out their faith in the midst of the world around them.  Do we try to withdrawal and form a "holy huddle"? Or do we do a whooping cannonball plunge right into the middle of it? I would argue that when the Bible declares us to be "ambassadors" for Christ, it becomes clear that Christians are going to have to be involved with the world in the most risky and messy ways possible.

The tricky thing about being an ambassador is that everything about you represents someone or something else.  Sure you still have opinions, likes/dislikes, etc., but suddenly those things don't really matter as much.  Why? Because you're there on someone else's business.  If you allow your opinions, actions, and what not to overshadow and even jeopardize that business, then you are not being a very effective ambassador.

Now most of us aren't going to be invited to embassy dinners or top-secret government meetings.  Instead, we serve as ambassadors on a more mundane, yet ultimately more important playing field: daily life.  To your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your co-workers, your boss, your employees, your neighbors, and even your enemies, you are the representative of God.  If you are a Christian, then you dress, drive, shop, spend, save, shout, speak, interact, ignore, love, reject, worship, sin, live, and die before the world as an ambassador of Christ.

I imagine sometimes ambassadors find the title to be a burden.  There are certainly times when I wish I could remove the Christian label just long enough to tell someone off, bad-mouth a third party, tailgate someone for a few blocks with my horn blaring, or maybe to just not feel bad about ignoring that person in my church, in my family, or on the side of the road.  But in the end to be a Christian is to be an ambassador.

But it's usually not long after I decide to start taking being an ambassador seriously again, that I become totally overwhelmed.  I mean, who in His right Mind would want me representing Him? That's when I remember that the grace that drew me to God now works in me and through me as I try to tell others about that grace and act out that grace before the world.

So yeah, I'm a pretty sloppy ambassador at times.  There's no getting around it.  But I take comfort in knowing that it's the Message and not the messenger that has the power to save.  Power that can overcome even a sloppy messenger.  Power than can transform the messenger into a better and better reflection of that same Message.