By Dr. Eric Scalise
• Ambassadors are Chosen. The Scriptures affirm this truth, “… you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). It is the prerogative of any president, ruler, or king to handpick his/her ambassadors. It is a high and prestigious honor and an ambassador is often referred to as the “Chief of Mission” in another country’s capital for the purpose of establishing diplomatic ties. The “choosing” comes as an outgrowth of the relationship between the ambassador and the one whom he or she serves. Similarly, as Christian ambassadors, we have our commission from the Lord because it flows from being in relationship with Him. We have been given definite instructions, a definite task, and a definite assurance of His unfailing and continuing presence. We did not choose God, but He chose us (Jn. 15:16). We have been handpicked and He made us a kingdom of priests and rulers, so we should likewise, “be all the more diligent to make certain His calling and choosing” (2 Pet. 1:10).
• Ambassadors are Faithful. When it comes to showing honor toward a sovereign leader, ambassadors are known for their loyalty, a quality that has usually been demonstrated over a period of time. Faithfulness also matters to God, and He knows that someone, “who is faithful in that which is least, will also be faithful in that which is much” (Lk. 16:10). God encourages His ambassadors to take steps of faith so they can be given greater responsibility in kingdom work. Solomon understood this principle when he wrote, “a faithful envoy [another word for ambassador] brings healing” (Prov. 13:17). The privilege of bringing a spirit of reconciliation to others in the name of Christ is often given to those who have first been faithful in the little things.
• Ambassadors are Trustworthy. Another way of phrasing this trait is to say that an ambassador is worthy of trust. Trust, like faithfulness, is an earned commodity, and for ambassadors who primarily do their work apart from the one who appointed them, they must have the implicit trust of their president, prime minister, king, etc. First Corinthians 4:2 says, “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.”
• Ambassadors are Entrusted. Ambassadors are given a mission and have a clear understanding that they are not supposed to represent their own worldviews, ideas, or philosophies, but those of their king, ruler, or president. The same holds true for us: “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts” (1 Thes. 2:4). In a ministry of reconciliation, we have been entrusted, not with our own initiatives and plans, but with the Gospel of Christ, to faithfully represent the kingdom and principles of a sovereign God. Equipped with both grace and truth, we must therefore endeavor to represent Him well at all times. Our words and actions at home, the workplace, in school or church, and where we live, all matter greatly.
• Ambassadors are Dignified. Ambassadors are typically viewed as very dignified individuals of high character. This implies that they have the willingness, ability, and humility to “rise and walk above the fray” by not allowing the self-serving desires or the ambitions of others deter them from their sense of mission. Webster’s defines character as a, “mark or distinctive quality; ethical traits individualizing or distinguishing a person or group; moral excellence; or a device placed on an object as an indication of ownership, origin or relationship.” Paul indicates that the believer “belongs to Christ” (1 Cor. 3:23), and if you think about it, because we belong to Him, we are the “object” of His love. He has placed Himself within us through the agency of the Holy Spirit to indicate both ownership and relationship. Therefore, “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach” (Tit. 2:7-8a).
• Ambassadors are Wise. Have you ever noticed that ambassadors are usually very careful and deliberate in their choice of words and in their demeanor? They understand that how and when they speak is just as important as the content of the message. If we want to tell others about balanced living, healthy relationships, biblical principles, or introduce them to the King of Kings, we must possess the necessary wisdom in how to share it, for, “the tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable” (Prov. 15:2), and “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel” (Prov. 1:5).
• Ambassadors are Sent Out. Finally, ambassadors are commissioned to go somewhere and represent their country and its leaders. Jesus modeled this reality when, “…He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to perform healing” (Lk. 9:1-2). The truth is that ultimately, this present earth is not our home. Heaven is our home and God is our King. Just as He was sent into the world, so He now sends us. Some to their families… some to their schools or places of work… some to their local neighborhoods and communities… some to positions in government… and some, like ships that set sail, to foreign lands with different cultures and peoples. Harbors are safe places, but they are not what ships were built for.
He must therefore divest himself, in some measure, of all his own sentiments, and put himself in the place of a Prince with whom he treats; he must as it were transform himself into this person, take up his opinion of things, and his inclinations, and then, after he has known the Prince to be what he is, let him say thus within himself: If I were in the place of this Prince, with the same power, the same passions, and the same prejudices, what effect would those things produce in me which I have to lay before him? (de Callieres, 1708).
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Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, is the President of LIV Enterprises & Consulting, LLC and CEO for the Alignment Association, LLC. He is the former Vice President of the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), as well as the former Department Chair for Counseling Programs at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He is an adjunct professor and the Senior Editor for both AACC and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. Dr. Scalise is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with 36 years of clinical and professional experience in the mental health field. Specialty areas include professional and pastoral stress and burnout, compassion fatigue, mood disorders, marriage and family issues, combat trauma and PTSD, addictions and recovery, crisis response, grief and loss, leadership development, life coaching, and lay counselor training. He is a published author with Zondervan, Baker Books, and Harvest House, is a national and international conference speaker, and frequently works with organizations, clinicians, ministry leaders, and churches on a variety of issues. Dr. Scalise and his wife, Donna, have been married for 36 years, have twin sons who are combat veterans serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and three grandchildren.
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