(This is the fourth in a series of entries drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ.)
Ambassador Grew writes about an incident he had with the German Ambassador. Apparently there was some type of a diplomatic league that the various Ambassadors were all generally a part of. Different members of the League would make speeches at their gatherings. Before making a speech, it was the custom to send their speech around to the other Ambassadors for them to review and approve
When the German Ambassador sent his speech around, Ambassador Grew was faced with a dilemma. If he were to approve of the speech, he felt it would also be approving of the German country – something that he couldn’t do (the United States did not have diplomatic relations with Germany at that time). But he also knew that refusing to sign the speech would cause a “situation.”
Ambassador Grew was willing to take a stand for what was right and decided to graciously refuse to sign the speech. He included a note to the German Ambassador explaining that, due to the relations between their countries, he was not able to sign the speech, but that he hoped the German Ambassador would not take the refusal personally.
This, of course, caused a reaction of sorts from the German Ambassador, who was well aware of the situation between their countries but didn’t feel signing the League’s speech would be an approval of the German nation. He requested a meeting with Ambassador Grew… (to be continued)
What good is an Ambassador who is simply looking to be popular? What good is an Ambassador who is not willing to represent his country by standing for what is right?
Are we, as Ambassadors for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, willing to take a stand — even when it will be an unpopular one? And, are we willing to take that stand even when we know it will cause a “situation”?
Jesus warned us as His disciples that following Him would be unpopular:
John 15:18-19. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
The unpopular stands (for right) that Jesus calls us to may even involve our family or extended family. Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), shared in Matthew 10:35-37: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Are we willing to graciously and with love stand for right, or do we cave in to pressure? Because an Ambassador is expected to represent his nation even when doing so results in animosity from those he is living nearby.