The Apostle Paul, Christianity’s greatest advocate after Jesus, was at one point known as Saul of Tarsus. Prior to his transformation, he had persecuted Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem. Once he came to understand the true meaning of Christianity, he believed and taught that all individuals – no matter what nationality, religion, or belief – have the potential to be “ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20).
This means we each have the power of grace, righteousness, and the spirit of divine Life within us. Being an ambassador for Christ is something I take seriously. Following the teachings of Christ Jesus and living his example in word and deed are important to me. I have found that doing so brings joy and peace, and it helps and heals.
In his three-year ministry, Jesus not only healed many, but he also taught multitudes to adhere to God’s laws and to love and forgive. He repeatedly showed that it was divine Love, God, who actually did the healing. And he made it clear that he wanted all mankind to prove God’s power.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). As a Christian Scientist, I find that following the Master’s behest to be sincere and compassionate, respectful and loving to all, to the best of my ability is essential. I couldn’t be an ambassador for Christ in any other way.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, also recognized the importance of living Jesus’ example on a daily basis. Her writings are full of guidance along these lines. In fact, she saw the demonstration of Christliness to be so crucial that she made it one of the main directives for her church.
In the last of six basic tenets, Mrs. Eddy asks her church members to “solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure” (“Church Manual,” p. 16). In essence, this offers instruction on how to be effective ambassadors – to demonstrate “on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
I had a valuable experience in doing just that. For over two decades, I have been involved in a project where major differences between two groups have prevailed. More often than not, anyone approaching the group in charge is rudely shot down, leaving that individual embittered and resentful. I have been on the receiving end of that too many times. It isn’t right or pleasant.
Recently, however, I started to earnestly pray about this. I felt it was time to stop being angry and to start listening to what God had to say. The thought came to send a letter to this other group to request a meeting.
After I’d sincerely sought divine Love’s guidance in my prayers, my heart was filled with fondness for these individuals, and I couldn’t help but notice that decades of frustration had melted away within me. I was certain that we could have a harmonious discussion and that I could be merciful, just, and pure in my thinking toward them. And that is exactly what I did.
A lovely and lengthy conversation took place and provided me with the opportunity to express gratitude for their dedication and contributions, share the perspectives and concerns of others, and suggest a plan that would bring both sides together for the common good. There was nothing but kindness expressed toward me as well as interest in the idea that is now getting under way with great enthusiasm.
If I had gone into that meeting with years of pent-up animosity, it would have been a much different result. But gratefully, I had turned to God and realized that my purpose wasn’t to express rancor but rather the qualities of Christ, such as love, grace, and brotherhood.
The opportunities to be ambassadors for Christ are unlimited. We are all needed to fulfill this official position. We can unconditionally and purposefully love and look forward to the positive effects our efforts will bring. And we can start now.