Bob Tamasy: Ambassadors Of More Than Good Will

Monday, November 4, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

In October, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Caroline Kennedy as U.S. ambassador to Japan. (Can you believe, by the way, that Caroline turns 56 later this month? How time flies, at least for us Baby Boomers, who remember her as the wee little girl running around the White House when her father, John F. Kennedy, was President.)

Ambassadors have been in the news a lot lately. Debate continues over the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, and 10 other people injured.

The fact ambassadors and embassies are making headlines is newsworthy in itself. Because unlike most political offices, in which those elected often seek publicity to promote their legislation and causes or to further their careers and ambitions, ambassadors aren’t there to call attention to themselves.

Typically, ambassadorships are bestowed as rewards for meritorious service, gestures of appreciation for aiding the President in some way, or a graceful transition from more rigorous public service. But ambassadors – unless you come from a famous political family or get assassinated on foreign soil – rarely generate front-page attention or lead off the evening news.

We sometimes hear about “good will ambassadors,” but the real task of the ambassador entails much more than shaking hands and smiling. The duty, simply put, is to represent someone of greater authority – like a chief executive, or a foreign state – speaking on his or her behalf. Their jobs are not to espouse and seek to advance their own agendas.

So it’s interesting to read a Bible passage describing followers of Jesus as ambassadors. “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ. God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

We often hear people that don’t share faith in Jesus basically telling His followers to “shut up.” Talking to others about Him, they contend, is offensive, intolerant, narrow-minded, bigoted, and not nice. While nonbelievers have every right to believe – or disbelieve – as they do, followers of Christ don’t have much choice.

Imagine, for instance, Ms. Kennedy arriving in Japan and rather than properly representing U.S. interests on various issues, she elects to take opposing stances. At state dinners, instead of being a loyal, steadfast representative of the United States, she consistently badmouths our nation and undermines all diplomatic initiatives. And when given an important message to deliver, she refuses to do so. What kind of ambassador would she be?

In a similar way, the Bible declares, God has entrusted His people with an urgent message and desires for us to communicate it as faithfully and effectively as possible. This message, the same passage states, is “the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). In another passage, the apostle Paul explains, “…the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).

That’s the essence of being an ambassador – not speaking for yourself, but on behalf of the person or entity you represent. Certainly, like a foreign ambassador, those called to serve as ambassadors for Jesus need to do so with “gentleness and respect” as they’re instructed in 1 Peter 3:15. At the same time, it’s not our place to promote our own agendas, personal opinions or philosophies “in the name of Christ.” We are to speak for Him – consistent with what He’s revealed to us in the Scriptures.

But to refuse to speak – to fail to communicate God’s message at the appropriate time and setting? For the believer, that just isn’t an option.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Praying And Fasting Series Continues Sunday At Middle Valley COG

Middle Valley Church of God, 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'Things Are Starting To Happen '  in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This is part of a sermon series titled 'Praying And Fasting Will Motivate Us.'  This sermon series will focus on the need for believers to spend time in prayer and fasting as ... (click for more)

Steve Ellison: A Matter Of Life And Death

A coaching friend of mine who jumped back and forth from high school to college coaching used to frequently share with me and the young men he was entrusted with about a Scripture passage that he considered to be his life verse. Deuteronomy 30:15-20 had made a tremendous impact on his life and even though I have not spoken with him in several years, I am quite sure that it still ... (click for more)

County Commission Votes 8-1 To Deny Permit For Controversial Bakewell Firing Range

The County Commission voted 8-1 on Wednesday to deny a special exceptions permit for a $2.4 million firing range at Retro-Hughes Road at Bakewell. Only Commissioner Greg Martin was in support. Opponents and supporters were again gathered at the courthouse, but the commission voted without hearing further argument. Commissioner Randy Fairbanks said to him "it is not a gun ... (click for more)

County Commission Tables Proposal To Repair Central High Track

A majority of the County Commission on Wednesday voted to table a proposal to spend up to $500,000 to rebuild the track at Central High School. Commissioner Greg Beck said he had offered his support for the project contingent on similar appropriations being made in other districts. However, he said he afterward learned it might be 3-5 years before there is another round of $900,000 ... (click for more)

Beyond Freedom Of Speech - And Response

Yes, most people know about the First Amendment to our Constitution, "The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction."  I being a "deplorable" draw the line when people block traffic, try to disrupt, and even stop an activity through malice and disregard for others. Case being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Want To Protest? Get Paid!

In a troubling time when “false news” is the rage and people ask me – to my face – if anybody from Russia ever approached me personally searching for votes for President-elect Donald Trump, there appears a website that, to cop a phrase, “is too good to be true.” There is a group out of California that allegedly wants to hire “operatives” to protest Friday’s inauguration. Forget ... (click for more)