Sometimes a single verse from the Bible can teach us much that we need to know about being the Christian business owners and leaders that God has called us to be. While that may be too large a task for one verse, I think I have at least one that comes close. Let’s start by taking a look at the following verse about being an ambassador for Christ:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
2 Corinthians 5:20
What Is An Ambassador?
When you first look at this verse, you may not recognize the fullness of the charge we are given by it. That’s fine…I did not either when I read it the first hundred or so times! Fortunately, it has finally clicked for me and I want to pass my thoughts on to you for consideration.
Let’s start by asking the question, “What is an ambassador?” Though the following is not the official dictionary definition, I believe it does a good job of combining various definitions and descriptions that I have found for an ambassador. Take a look:
An ambassador is a dignitary whose full-time job is to live for a period (usually years) in a foreign land, intentionally building relationships with the people native to that land and purposefully representing to those people the desires of his king.
If you will agree that this accurately describes an ambassador, then I think it would be good for us to break it down into components, applying each one to our own lives.
The first part of this definition I want to cover is “dignitary.” A dignitary is a person considered to be important because of high rank or office. If the U.S. were to send to a foreign country an ambassador that had absolutely no authority, no knowledge, no “rank” at all, then the only reasonable expectation would be failure. No one would take them seriously, right?
The same is true of us. Whether we realize it or not, we are all dignitaries of our King. We are children and heirs of the Most High God (Romans 8:16-17), the One that created everything that is! We are His chosen children…I am not sure there is a higher rank we should desire.
Lives In A Foreign Land…
An ambassadorship is a position that requires the individual to relocate to the foreign land where he is assigned. This is not a commuter job. It is not a summer job. To be effective in executing this job, the ambassador establishes a residence in the foreign country.
Once again, the same is true for you and me. This earth is not our home. Often in Scripture, we are called aliens or strangers here (1 Peter 2:11). This earth is where we are to live for a period, but it is not where we belong. We belong in heaven with our Father, only here for a time.
…For A Period
Though the ambassador does relocate to the foreign land and commit to living there while on the job, he also knows that at any time he could be called home. An ambassador goes into the job knowing it will not last forever. At some point, he will return to his home “country.”
We, too, will be called home some day. Some will be called home sooner than others. Whether we have a relatively long stay here or a brief tenure, we know it is only temporary (Job 14:1-2). We have a job to do while we are here, but that job will eventually end and we will return home.
The ambassador must build relationships with the people in the foreign land if he expects to be effective in his job. These people are very different in their culture and traditions. They will not easily respond to an outsider without first having a relationship with him.
If we are to be effective ambassadors in this world, we must build relationships with the people here (Matthew 9:10). We must learn what makes them tick and study their needs. We need to meet them where they are and help to meet their needs. By building solid relationships with them, we will better be able to complete the next step.
Represents The Desires Of The King
The ambassador’s job does not stop at building relationships. There is a purpose to these relationships. His purpose, from the very beginning, is to represent his “king’s” desires to the people of this foreign land. His purpose is to win them over to these desires and to convince them that these desires are in their best interests.
When we become ambassadors for Christ, we are to be doing the same thing. We should be building relationships with those around us SO THAT we can express to them the desires of our King (Matthew 28:19-20). We need them to know that God loves them and wants the best for them. They need to be convinced by us that Christ’s desires are in their best interests.
To Be Continued!
In my next post, we will look at what I would say are likely the most important aspects of the ambassador job, specifically the one we are called to fill. In the meantime, I would encourage you to take some time and think about what this verse means to you and your job or business.
Do you see yourself as an ambassador?
What part of the above descriptions gives you the most trouble?
If this is new to you, what are your thoughts right now?
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