How can one become an ambassador?
What does it mean to be an ambassador?
What in the world is an ambassador?
The word ambassador is a tab bit fancy and sounds really cool. Merriam Webster defines it as an authorized representative or messenger. While I’m studying at my university, my title for my campus job is University Ambassador.
This means I am a representative of my school by giving tours to prospective students, welcoming families at admissions’ events, and being the first impression someone receives when they visit the school. I love my job and by putting that uniform on it means you are the face of the university. It’s a respected job with numerous responsibilities. It’s an honor and a privilege.
But I am also an ambassador of other things too.
There are many things I represent and a lot of it can be seen by clothing I wear. I represent my school while in my uniform. I represent my service sorority when I wear shirts with the Alpha Delta Theta letters. I represent my home church when I wear the shirts with the logo and name. When I played sports, I represented each team I played on every time I put on the jersey. You represent your hometown, state, and country when you travel to other places.
Unfortunately, how you look and what you wear is the first thing people notice when they meet you for the first time. Your attitude is next.
One thing I always represent isn’t shown by wearing clothing or jewelry. And it’s something everyone struggles with. I have been an ambassador for Christ ever since I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I’m not always the best example. No Christian is the best ambassador all day every day. It’s impossible.
Christians are judged harshly. They are called to represent Christ-like behavior and show God’s love to others. But Christians are human. They slip up and get caught up in the world. We think bad thoughts. We get angry and show our tails. We throw tantrums at other brothers and sisters in Christ. We get jealous. We get greedy. We get power hungry. We sin every day in front of believers and non-believers, and because we proclaim to be followers of Christ, we are called out each time we step out of line.
You know that person who cut you off while you were driving? Or that guy who cussed you out just because he was having a bad day? Or what about that time the really annoying girl wouldn’t shut up and leave you alone?
What did you do?
Each time I think about retaliating, I try to think through the consequences. It doesn’t always happen because my smart mouth gets the best of me occasionally. Asking yourself, What would Jesus do?, is not easy to answer when every fiber of your being is tingling with anger. When I was younger and would push my brother around, I would get scolded with “Raegan, that wasn’t very nice. Jesus wouldn’t have done that to his brother.” And it made me feel like crap. But sometimes we need that reality check.
This past summer I worked with many churches and lots of little children. They truly watch your every move. They look up to adults. If little kids go and copy your un-Christ-like actions, then you are staring at a mirror of your screw-ups. You have to be on your best behavior around the munchkins! And the same goes for when you are around non-believers too. The difference is that you know when you are in the presence of children, but you may not know when you are surrounded by non-believers.
They are watching to see what you do, how you react, what you say. They want to see you mess up, to tarnish the Christian name and values. First impressions are everything when you represent Jesus Christ. It can turn someone off from going to church. Your actions can cause someone to doubt God’s love, especially if they don’t truly know Him
The best way to battle the world and protect yourself is to fully wear the armor of God. Not literal armor, but the metaphorical one in Paul’s letters to the Ephesians:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul was an awesome ambassador for Christ. He wasn’t always on his best behavior and he was honest about it. Covering yourself in God’s armor allows you to put your best self forward in front of others. You have nothing to fear by being fully wrapped in truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Spirit. Christians, wear that armor proudly and make your King proud. Show everyone how mighty and awesome the Savior is by humbling yourself before your neighbor. Be the light you are called to be.
Matthew 5:14 recalls part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Christians are ambassadors for Jesus. They are the human representation of His love. Anyone who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for all sinners, and confesses that He is our Savior, they too put on the armor.
It’s a big job. It’s a commitment to serving Christ each day. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s for the one who loves God, believes Jesus took their place on the cross, and yearns for a personal relationship with Christ. Once you take that step, you are in for the ride of your life. It won’t be easy but it is so well worth it.
It’s not an easy task, but it’s an honor. Are you up for it?