(This is the sixth 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 and is continued from the previous posts regarding the Diplomatic League situation)
Ambassador Grew had cabled the US State Department to let them know about the situation that had developed between himself and the German Ambassador. Ambassador Grew had graciously taken a stand that he believed to be right, even though it had caused “an issue.”
To the “great surprise” of Ambassador Grew, the State Department responded that all relations of a social and ceremonial character that usually exist between members of the Diplomatic League were fine for Ambassador Grew to participate in, even with the German ambassador.
Ambassador Grew was now faced with an interesting dilemma: he had taken a stand for what he thought was right but had received guidance from his authorities that his stand was not necessary. To contact the German Ambassador and say he was now willing to sign the speech would be humbling.
What did Ambassador Grew do? He immediately contacted the German ambassador and asked to have the speech sent over because he had received direction from the State Department and was now happy to sign it.
I was absolutely amazed at Ambassador Grew’s humility. He was willing to appear to others as if he had done the “wrong thing” in a situation where his goal was genuinely to do the “right thing.” And, yes, perhaps he should have contacted the State Department for direction even sooner than he did!
Ambassador Grew knew and understood that it is more important for an Ambassador to follow the guidance/direction of the country he represents than to be concerned about his own reputation in appearing right or wrong.
What about us as ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ? How concerned are we about our reputation? If we are more concerned about our reputation than following what He has for us, we will be ineffective ambassadors.
John 12:43 talks about religious men who refused to follow Jesus because they were more concerned about their reputation: “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
The Apostle Paul was the one who, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, encouraged us to be “ambassadors” for Christ. Because of Paul’s obedience to Christ, he was called “insane” when giving a defense before very learned men of the world (Acts 26:24), and he wrote to the Corinthian church, “We are fools for Christ’s sakeâ€¦” (1 Corinthians 4:10).
Paul, as an ambassador for Christ, was willing to obey even when it made him appear foolish to others â€“ are we?