Today I geared up for teaching summer session and mentally prepared to meet another group of students and give them my best efforts. Once my course was set up, my thoughts turned to my tentative summer plans…visitors, sleepovers, birthday celebrations and potential trips.
Then it hit me. Most of you are in exactly the same boat.
Summer is busy, but in a more unstructured way. Normal routines are put on a shelf for a few months.
We do a lot of swimming, watch baseball and spend more time in our backyards.
We even change how we eat. Heavier meals are replaced with more frequent salads and ice cream cones.
And instead of hot coffee, we sip iced tea and water.
Instead of pie for dessert, we eat watermelon and strawberry shortcake.
About an hour ago I decided to run this summertime blog with lighter fare. Each week I will pick one verse and chat about it from the perspective of encouraging you in the midst of your own list of busy. I hope you like it. If it doesn’t fly, we can try something different next year.
2 Corinthians 5:20: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Hmmm, according to this…
If you are a Christian, you are an ambassador.
What is an ambassador? What exactly does this verse declare you to be?
You are “a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative.”
What would you have said yesterday if asked what you do? Would you have said
- Stay at home mom?
Whatever your answer, you missed something.
YOU ARE A DIPLOMATIC OFFICIAL OF THE HIGHEST RANK!
So straighten that back, put up the chin, square those shoulders and walk, talk and act like the dignitary you actually are.
It does not matter if you are toting six littles to the pool today and your bathing suit is fitting more snugly than last year and your hair needs to be cut.
YOU ARE A DIPLOMATIC OFFICIAL OF THE HIGHEST RANK!
We don’t have a choice. Foreign Service (Christian ambassadorship) is our job. It is who God says we are!
What is a diplomatic official? Allow me to copy/paste the definition from a website and insert spiritual parallels in blue.
Diplomats come from many different backgrounds, yet they all work to advance American interests abroad (or God’s interests on earth). They serve in countless roles: from economists and health care specialists to translators and administrative assistants. Most diplomats are Foreign Service Officers (FSO). Every FSO must pass the Foreign Service Exam (Thankfully, Jesus passed the exam for us).
My friend Dianne looked up the qualifications for a diplomatic official and read them one day in a church service. It was chilling, convicting…and downright inspiring! We are expected to meet the same qualifications, Christ followers! Take a look. Once you get to this page, click on Is Foreign Service Right for You?
You can look at the list yourself and convert certain words to represent being an ambassador for Christ instead.
1. Being a representative of the United States to businesses and governments worldwide. (Or being a representative of Jesus Christ to businesses and governments worldwide.)
2. Protecting America’s interests through lasting diplomatic efforts? (Or protecting God’s interests through lasting diplomatic efforts.)
The rest of the items need no translation. Questions from the website are changed into statements, but information remains intact and blue print additions are mine.
Here is a sampling of the more than 40-plus items that will inspire you about your role on earth as a diplomat.
We have an important job!
3. Have high levels of responsibility.
5. Work closely with foreign governments on issues of global importance (e.g., protecting peace, eliminating hunger, promoting free enterprise, etc.)…and sharing the gospel.
9. Know that the work you do has a direct impact on people.
10. You do work that has long-term implications affecting the next several generations.
15. Have a career that is a way of life rather than just a job.
21. Live and work anywhere in the world, even in locations considered “hardship” posts?” [Note: This is an absolute requirement.] I did not insert the bracketed comment.
28. Work long or unusual hours as necessary (e.g., hosting events, traveling, accommodating others’ time schedules, etc.). Whatever it takes, Colossians 1:28, 29.
31. Stay motivated even if assigned to locations or positions that you did not choose.
33. Tolerate living in a location that does not have employment or quality educational opportunities for your family. Willing to go anywhere?
37. Work on projects with long timelines and undefined outcomes (as opposed to short, discrete tasks)? Yes, we work for eternal matters and may not see our results this side of heaven.
40. Live in areas where there are few other Americans. Is there cultural diversity in your life? All people welcome?
Wow. Go head the the pool now, or pack for that vacation. Do so with renewed confidence and vigor, however. Whatever you are doing, you are a Christian first.
YOU ARE AN AMBASSADOR FOR CHRIST!
And this handsome dude, featured in today’s post, turns 11 this week.
Happy Birthday, sweet boy.
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