Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Ambassador Must be Willing to Lose his Life

Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and 3 other Americans were killed on this year's anniversay of 9/11. President Obama and Secretary Clinton both condemned the killings, while stressing that the U.S. bond with Libya would not suffer as a result. These words caught my attention. Though our representative may be dead, the relationship continues: the message is greater than the messenger.

An ambassador is the highest-ranking representative of one government to another.  He or she is authorized to speak for the President. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 Paul calls us Christ’s ambassadors, those who have been sent to speak for Him. And we represent the country, the heavenly realm, from which we have been sent. Certainly Ambassador Stevens knew that he was risking his life to represent and speak for America in a hostile region of the world.

Are we as willing to speak for Christ in our own hostile environments? It occurs to me that since Ambassador Stevens was relatively unknown before his murder, his death becomes the pinnacle of his life.  On the other hand, our death to our own interests must precede our ambassadorship. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-26)


  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    Thanks for the post.
    One of the jobs of the ambassador is to represent each of the two different cultures to each other. It requires being able to communicate in both languages. In the foreign culture, he is to be in the culture but not be of the culture. An ambassador who has completely embraced the foreign culture is of little use to the citizenship home country. As you have noted, how well do I represent God and His culture to the world? And how well do I represent some of those that God has put in my watch-care to God (intercession)?
    Being an ambassador is no easy task. This is one of the reasons that the pinnacle of the beatitudes is to be a peacemaker (one of the jobs of an ambassador) and thus be called a child of God. It is far too easy to say, "not my doing, not my mess, not my problem" but when I do that evasion, I am robbing myself of the opportunity to participate with God.
    Godspeed! Larry

  2. Well said, Larry. Another interesting point is this. Somewhere I read that in the days of the Roman Empire, the Ambassadors would be recalled every few years to keep them from becoming too 'culturized' (and too symathetic) and less sensitive to the culture they were representing! So in line with your question, we could ask ourselves "How well am I representing my culture and not becoming assimilated in the culture where I live?" Blessings, greg