Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ambassadors in Training

I once read an article about how parents teach peer pressure to their small children with their words. "Would you want Johnny to see you acting like that?" "What would Susie think if she saw you do that?" Then those children grow up and all they care about is what Johnny or Susie thinks of them. The article then suggested that we teach our children to care about what Jesus thinks. "It makes Jesus happy when you are nice to your brother." "Jesus likes it when you obey." 

I've been incorporating similar phrases into my praise of Micah and it's carried over to other things. Often I'll explain to him that we behave certain ways because we represent Jesus. Because we want others to see Jesus when they look at us. Why does it matter?  I want him to grow up looking at his own life through a Biblical perspective, not worrying about what a friend thinks. 

photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ..." 2 Corinthians 5:20.  We do represent Jesus in everything we do. Micah's smart; he'll notice quickly if I'm telling him one thing and doing something different myself.  So I have to remind myself, "I'm representing Jesus."

 If an unsaved person were tied to my arm (think Apostle Paul and his Roman guards) would they be won to Christ by my behavior? By my behavior when someone cuts me off on the road? By my behavior when it's thirty minutes until naptime? By my behavior when my husband is working late? Could my testimony as a Christian be doing more harm than good to the name of Christ? 

Not only could I be doing harm to unbelievers who might be watching me, I might also be doing harm to my own children. I want to teach them by word and example so I have to train myself first.  So my reminder to myself- as I pick out my clothes, as I choose my words, as I focus my days- is that I'm an ambassador. Jesus left me here to show Him to others. 

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