We are in the first few months of a new political authority, with new individuals representing different aspects of that authority that is now in place.
These people, who are now representing us and our country that we claim to be a part of, are under a microscope at all times. You don’t have to believe me, just turn on the TV and you will see for yourselves; these people are constantly being questioned and criticized for some aspect of their duties and/or the performance in their role of representing us.
Why does this happen? It’s because we hold these individuals to a higher standard, and we expect so much more from them because of the position that they hold. Representing the United States and the American people isn’t something to be taken lightly, because the rest of the world is looking at us.
Well, what about professing Christians? What kind of standard, if any, do we hold each other to? I believe, and know, that we should be held to a higher standard than even those in the political realm. I can say this with certainty because of what we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
You see, Christians are ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is someone who is an authorized representative or official envoy to represent the government or sovereign of where he/she belongs.
Is there any greater privilege that we can be given than to represent our Lord and King, Jesus Christ? And if this is the greatest privilege to be had, then shouldn’t we hold ourselves and each other to the highest standard possible? Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen though, does it?
We are so afraid to be called “judgmental” if we actually confront a professing believer on his/her actions, that we will allow them to misrepresent Christ.
Instead, we should be bold and confront them immediately because of who we represent and who they say they are representing by their profession. We are told in 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 that we are not to judge those who do not profess to be Christian, but we are supposed to judge those who do profess to be Christian.
When we allow our lives and the lives of those who profess Christ to be contrary to Him and His Word, we not only do a great disservice to the One True God we represent, but we actually hurt those in the world who are watching us. Alexander Maclaren once said, “The world takes its notion of God most of all from those who say they belong to God’s family. They read us a great deal more than they read the Bible. They see us, they only hear about Jesus Christ.”
Professing Christians are supposed to appeal to people to be reconciled with God and even beg them to be reconciled with Him, but if we don’t represent Him as an ambassador should, why would they want to?
True Christians have been given the greatest privilege that anyone could ever have; to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. How you and I live in this world that so desperately needs Him is vital if we are to be effective for the advancement of His Kingdom.
So if we are going to expect the political leaders of this great country to be held to a higher standard and represent us in a great way, then shouldn’t we expect even more from those who name the name of Christ?
The Rev. James Cole is pastor of Sovereign Grace Community Church in Grovetown.