We are, therefore, Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.—2 Corinthians 5:20
If you have placed your faith in Christ, you are more than His child: You’re His ambassador. But did you ever stop to think about what it means to be an ambassador? The role comes with its share of responsibilities, hardships and perks.
An ambassador’s role is to represent his or her country’s government and look out for its interests. In the case of Christians, we serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings, who reigns in heaven. His primary interest is people’s souls. He is a God of love, grace, mercy, compassion, peace and justice, to name a few of His attributes. As His diplomat, our job is to point people to a saving knowledge of Him—in other words, to increase the citizenship base of His kingdom. This requires we reflect His attributes.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.—Matthew 5:16
Ambassadors often look for ways to build goodwill by doing good works. They work to promote better relationships with people from different cultures, and they try to provide assistance where they can to the people around them. This includes offering hospitality. It’s by no means a 9-to-5 job.
Though some ambassadors get plush assignments, some get hardship assignments. They live in squalid conditions in third-world countries or in parts of the world where instability is the only constant. Sometimes their assignments take them away from loved ones.
Those who manage to land plush assignments can’t get too comfortable. They could get marching orders at any time. It’s not unusual for them to be placed among people who don’t respect their government. They may face opposition at every turn, and yet they must persevere in their mission to represent the best of their nation.
Despite the hardships ambassadors may face, their job comes with beefy benefits: a paid staff, free housing, bodyguards, a car service and a great retirement plan. And let’s not forget diplomatic immunity, which protects ambassadors from being sued or prosecuted under a host country’s laws.
Similarly, Christ will not always lead us to the most posh destinations. Sometimes we face hardships. Sometimes we must leave behind people and places we love. Sometimes we find ourselves in hostile territory. But always we must do the bidding of our King.
But let’s talk about those perks! Christians may not get paid staffs, but we do find ourselves connected with other believers whose gifts complement ours. As for free housing, each of us will receive a mansion in heaven built by the universe’s best carpenter. And as for bodyguards, the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them (Psalm 34:7). If you long for an ideal retirement, how does an eternity in perfect peace and rest sound? As for diplomatic immunity, Christ followers score again, because there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
If you have given your life to Christ, this is what you signed up for, and it’s the most difficult yet rewarding diplomatic post of all. Serve well, my friends.