I really enjoy reading Paul David Tripp. I am currently reading Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands. In the chapter, “Following the Wonderful Counselor” Paul is developing the concept that as Christians, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2). Where it really gets personal is in the following quote:
We don’t really want to live as ambassadors. We would rather live as mini-kings. We know what we like and the people we want to be with. We know the kind of house we’d like to own and the car we want to drive. Without even recognizing it, we quickly fall into a “my desire, my will, and my way” lifestyle, where the things we say and do are driven by the cravings of our own hearts. If we were honest, we would have to confess that the central prayer of our hearts is “my kingdom come.” (p105)
Failing to understand our role as ambassadors makes conflict almost inevitable. We begin to view all our relationships through the lens of what others can do for us. We become consumed with having our expectations met. When they are not we make others pay. Even our prayers become self-centered, focusing on our will instead of God’s.
Instead of living as mini-king’s, let’s strive to focus on living as ambassadors. Let’s ask the question Paul Tripp recommends, “How can I best represent the King in this place, with this particular person?”
As we do so, we will find our lives far more fruitful and effective in both glorifying God and serving others.