One Voice: The Duty of Ambassadors
Christians are to represent Jesus Christ and be His ambassadors. Where do we go to discover how an ambassador of Christ is to live today?
Ambassadors have pretty interesting jobs. They get to live in a foreign country and represent the nation they’re from. If you go on the U.S. State Department’s website and look up the duties of a U.S. ambassador, for example, you’ll read that ambassadors are responsible for “serving Americans with professional excellence, the highest standards of ethical conduct, and diplomatic discretion.” But what’s really interesting is the responsibility that is listed first: “Speaking with one voice to others on U.S. policy—and ensuring mission staff do likewise.”
Ambassadors are charged with making sure U.S. policy is properly represented. Do we see “one voice” in any political realm today? Hardly, but it’s the standard an ambassador is expected to achieve.
The role of ambassador
How can this important duty of a national ambassador apply to us spiritually? One verse that has probably been committed to the minds of many Christians states: “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Paul also writes that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).
Christ made it His purpose to rightly represent the Father. He, in essence, was the emissary sent to administer and represent the “policy” of the Father (John 8:18, 23; 7:16-18). He taught that His followers should also obey the Father’s commandments (Matthew 5:17-19).
Living as an ambassador in another people’s land requires discipline. It is a commitment to uphold the integrity of the nation one is mirroring.The American Foreign Service Association’s book Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at Work includes this quote from former AFSA president John K. Naland: “The Foreign Service is a career like no other. It is much more than a job; it is a uniquely demanding and rewarding way of life.”
Living as an ambassador in another people’s land requires discipline. It is a commitment to uphold the integrity of the nation one is mirroring. It’s also one’s duty to have a careful understanding of the affairs of the host country—vigorous training is required to even qualify for such an occupation. The Discover Diplomacy website states this about the requirements for entering the Foreign Service: “If you pass the grueling exams and a medical checkup and receive a security clearance, you may finally be asked to join the distinguished ranks of the Foreign Service. The Foreign Service is more selective than Harvard University.”
An ambassador’s job is serious business. A great deal of intellectual and emotional preparation is involved. It isn’t up to ambassadors to set the precedent for how they represent their nation. An ambassador’s job is to uphold what has already been put into place.
You are called to be an ambassador!
Being a national ambassador takes conscientious effort and study. How does that apply to us? To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ, we must have a great desire to study, obey and represent the policies and standards of our government—the Kingdom of God. And we can learn how to represent that Kingdom from God’s Word, the Bible! When Christ returns, He will bring a reward for those who speak and live with “one voice.”
For further insight into how a true Christian should live, read “What Is a Christian?”