Thursday, November 8, 2018
A wicked messenger falls into trouble but a trustworthy envoy brings healing. Proverbs 13:17
Citizenship in God's Kingdom (Phil. 3;14) by definition makes believers aliens in this world. As members of diplomatic communities we must be sensitive to our extreme vulnerability as minority members of a majority alien culture. Like an envoy to a foreign government, we cannot participate in the politics of another country or risk distraction from our spiritual goal and disqualification as legitimate messengers of the gospel. However, we must realize that Paul challenged us to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). Therefore, as Christian envoys, we must be circumspect in all our words and activities, careful not to offend our hosts with frivolous speech and insensitive behavior or bring disrepute upon our homeland.
There are an amazingly number of passages in scripture that summarize the qualifications of an effective spiritual diplomat. In this Proverbs passage, the writer emphasizes several of these qualities. We must value the good instruction of our superiors while respecting the hierarchical social order of the land in which we are sojourners. We must practice wise teaching so we will be of extreme value to society and be able to help rescue others from death. We must have a good understanding of the people and culture so we will be able to win favor and trust with those in need of hope. We must allow knowledge and wisdom to govern the way we interact with other people so our presence and words will bring healing and unity We must live a disciplined life so our king will be honored by those who bear witness to our daily practices. (David Maas, 1/04, cgg.org)